New York Knicks: Kenyon Martin

NEW YORK –- Even a decade later after the Nets swept the Knicks out of the playoffs, Jason Kidd still is needling those Stephon Marbury-led Knicks.

Before Game 3 against the Toronto Raptors, the Nets head coach was asked if he could ever recall a time when something seen in a newspaper was ever used as bulletin board material for a team.

Kidd initially couldn’t recall anything that the Nets might’ve done during his time in New Jersey.

Then a reporter mentioned how Tim Thomas once called Kenyon Martin “fugazi” during the Knicks-Nets first-round series back in 2004.

“Oh, um, that wasn’t really a series,” Kidd deadpanned. “It wasn’t.”

Kidd and the Nets swept Marbury’s Knicks, 4-0, in a series that was more hotly contested off the court. Not only was there the Knicks-Nets rivalry but it was punctuated by the rivalry between Kidd and Marbury, the former Net who was traded for Kidd and felt strongly that he was the best point guard in the league at the time.

And there was Thomas and Martin’s feud which began when Thomas basically all but challenged Martin to a fight and called the Nets power forward “fugazi” which was a slang term for a fake tough guy.

The next day, Martin showed up at a media availability wearing the New York Daily News' back page on his chest. The News' back page had a picture of Thomas with the headline "Whiny Tim." Martin taped it to the front of his practice jersey like a marathoner's number –- giving new meaning to bulletin board material.

The whole conversation was brought up because Kidd was asked if the Nets used Raptors GM Masai Ujiri’s “F--- Brooklyn!” pep rally cry as bulletin board material.

“It’s never thrown on a bulletin board,” Kidd said in general terms of anything inflammatory said off the court. “We just focus on the game. That’s between the fans and the media for them to have a story or talk about. For the players, it’s about basketball and being able to execute.”

Except, or course, a decade ago when the Nets and Knicks played in a lopsided first-round series that proved to be more memorable for what was said off the court.

K-Mart to undergo ankle surgery

April, 17, 2014
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NEW YORK -- Forward Kenyon Martin said he plans to undergo surgery to repair a nagging ankle injury in the coming weeks.

Martin's ankle injury sidelined him for the final 35 games of the season.

Martin will be a free agent this summer. The 13-year veteran, a former No. 1 overall pick, said on Wednesday that he plans to play in the NBA next season.

He hopes to return to the New York Knicks.

It's unclear at this point if new Knicks president Phil Jackson will have interest in bringing back the 37-year-old Martin.

Martin, who gave the Knicks a big lift off the bench in the second half of the 2012-13 season, also talked Wednesday about the disappointment of missing the playoffs this season.

"We didn’t get off to the start we hoped and then injuries played a part, guys in and out of the lineup all year. That’s part of it. But us not playing well as a team, that’s what it all boils down to. We just didn’t get it done," Martin said.

Martin said it was unfair that coach Mike Woodson was left to take blame for what went wrong with the team.

"Woody, he had us prepared every game. It was just we didn’t go out and get it done," Martin said. "It wasn’t one day we didn’t have shootaround, didn’t watch film or game plan. All that went on still. It’s the same game plan, same scheme, same everything we had last year. We just didn’t get it done. Us, with the expectations we had, of course we feel like we underachieved as a bunch."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Opening Tip: Who to fault for this season?

April, 11, 2014
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Mike Woodson, James Dolan, Carmelo Anthony Getty ImagesThis Knicks season has been absolutely awful -- who's to blame for this season?
With the New York Knicks’ playoff chances fading with just four games remaining, it’s hard not to think about what went wrong and how the 'Bockers got into this position in the first place.

The Knicks started the season with high expectations and now they could be playing out the final four games of their season with no postseason and no picks for this coming draft.

So with that in mind, who do you place the onus on for this disastrous season? Of course, everybody played a part in the Knicks’ failure this season but who do you point the finger at the most? Here are five candidates to choose from:

SportsNation

Who do you blame for this Knicks season?

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Discuss (Total votes: 3,298)

James Dolan: The owner truly felt that this roster had what it took to win it all when the season started. He oversaw changes in the offseason that included the acquisition of Andrea Bargnani, demotion of GM Glen Grunwald and hiring of Steve Mills.

The Knicks went in a younger direction after key veterans helped them win 54 games last season. The team’s strong ties to CAA also led to J.R. Smith’s brother, Chris, making the roster at the start of the season. And other offseason additions like Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih ended badly with buyouts.

For better or worse, Dolan opted not to make major changes in-season whether it was not trading for Kyle Lowry or keeping Mike Woodson as coach. Dolan, though, didn't completely stand pat. He deserves credit for chasing and ultimately landing Phil Jackson even if he had to give up a small fortune. The Jackson hiring gives the Knicks what feels like a tidal wave of hope for the future even if it doesn't end with a title.

Mike Woodson: The man who coached the Knicks to 54 wins a season ago won’t be able to win more than 37 games even if he finishes the season 4-0. He has had to deal with a slew of injuries to Tyson Chandler, Smith (who started the season with a five-game suspension), Raymond Felton, Bargnani and Kenyon Martin among others. But he had difficulty getting the Knicks to play consistently, there were defensive breakdowns and confusion on some nights and basketball IQ flops at the end of games against Washington and Milwaukee.

There were also embarrassingly awful losses to the Celtics, Spurs, Kings, Sixers and Lakers just to name a few. The Knicks were more inconsistent than a flip-flopping politician as guys like Chandler, Felton, Smith and Iman Shumpert all played below their 2012-2013 level. But despite all that and Phil’s hiring, Woodson oversaw a late surge in which the Knicks have won 12 of their last 17 games.

Carmelo Anthony: In what could potentially be his last season as a Knick before becoming a free agent, he’s averaging 27.5 points and 8.2 rebounds in a career-high 38.9 minutes a game. Melo authored an all-time Knick performance with 62 points against Charlotte and was often the only reason why to watch the team for much of this dreadful season. Anthony is trying to battle through a shoulder injury in an attempt to get the Knicks in the playoffs.

Anthony knew the team would look to him to lead more this season with Jason Kidd gone and he tried calling team meetings early in the season. But there’s only so much Anthony can do. The All-Star has felt the burden of the Knicks’ struggles this season according to Jackson and all this comes right before he will opt out his contract later this summer.

J.R. Smith: Smith’s 2013-’14 got off to a smashing start with offseason surgery on his left knee shortly after signing a three-year, $18-million contract in July. He then served a five-game suspension for violating the NBA’s anti-drug program to start the season. Woodson has often pointed back toward the suspension as one of the many things that went wrong this season.

Smith, though, has come on as of late and has begun playing like the Sixth Man of the Year from last season. He has buried a total of 41 three-pointers in his last seven games and looks healthy again.

Jason Kidd: How damaging was his departure? Players have talked repeatedly about how much they miss his leadership and basketball IQ on the court and in the locker room. Without Kidd, the Knicks’ point guard play struggled with Felton going through a tough season. And as if it wasn’t bad enough that Kidd retired, he then took his smarts to the rival Nets and led them to a stunning turnaround since Jan. 1 –- all while the Knicks have been struggling.

Up now: Can the decision-making duo of Phil and Mills do special things for the Knicks next season?

The Knicks will need an Atlanta meltdown to make the playoffs.

What's next: Knicks try to keep their slim hopes alive at Toronto at 7 p.m.

Question of the day: Who do you place much of the blame on for the Knicks’ woes this season?

No timetable for Bargnani, Martin

April, 4, 2014
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It’s looking more and more like Andrea Bargnani and Kenyon Martin won’t return during the regular season.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Friday that neither Bargnani nor Martin have started any on-court activity.

Martin, out since Feb. 3 with an ankle injury, said Wednesday he was getting closer to a return but didn’t provide any specific details. Bargnani has been out since Jan. 24 with a torn ligament in his left elbow.

Amar'e Stoudemire has taken Bargnani’s spot in the starting lineup and is playing well. The Knicks are 12-3 since Stoudemire was inserted in the starting lineup.

If Bargnani does return, it will be interesting to see if his presence adversely impacts the Knicks’ chemistry.

Melo’s 62 honored: Madison Square Garden honored Carmelo Anthony's record-setting, 62-point performance earlier this season with a visual retrospective at the Garden 366 exhibit on the Madison Concourse.

Anthony's 62-point night on Jan. 24 broke the franchise record previously held by Bernard King, who scored 60 back on Christmas Day 1984. Anthony also broke the Garden record of 61, set by Kobe Bryant on Feb. 2, 2009.

High expectations for Shumpert: Phil Jackson said Thursday that he liked what he saw from Iman Shumpert against the Nets. Shumpert had four steals in the first half to help spark the Knicks to an easy victory.

Woodson also praised the third-year guard and said expectations are high for Shumpert. "Iman didn’t play one game with me, as me being the head coach and I threw him right in as a starter. That’s how much I believed in Iman based on his style of play and what he brought to the table," Woodson said. "That hasn’t gone away. I just expect more from him. I think we all do. If he plays like he did the other night, he impacts the game, he changes the game *#133; so I’m pleased with his play. We’re going to continue to push him, and he’s got to continue to give us more. That’s what we’re looking for."

What’s been the key to the Knicks winning 12 of their past 15?

"It’s just been a lot of things going on with our ballclub," Woodson said. "The fact that [J.R. Smith] is playing better, [Stoudemire's] minutes have grown. He’s playing at a high level. It makes life a little different. We got to continue on that pace if we’re going to make the playoffs."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

J.R. says he'll play with mask in Memphis

February, 17, 2014
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The Knicks returned to work after the All-Star break in Memphis, where they will play the Grizzlies on Tuesday.

While J.R. Smith told reporters no adjustments were made to the mask he didn’t want to play with last week, the Knicks shooter plans on playing against the Grizzlies.

Smith fractured a bone in his left cheek and sat out last Wednesday’s loss to Sacramento because he didn’t feel comfortable with the mask.

“I’m going to play regardless if adjustments were made or not," Smith told reporters, according to the New York Post. “I can’t just keep missing games. I shot around with it. It was all right. It feels the same. I’ll just practice with it and go through with it."

Guard Iman Shumpert is listed as questionable with a left hip flexor strain and Kenyon Martin (ankle) remained in New York, according to reports.

Stoudemire: I'm 'ready' to play more

February, 4, 2014
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Amar'e Stoudemire says there aren't any medical limitations on how much he can play right now.

The veteran forward said his playing time is decided by Mike Woodson. And the proud Stoudemire clearly would like to play more, starting Wednesday night at home against Portland.

“From a doctor’s standpoint, there hasn’t been limitations since the first week of the season,” Stoudemire said when asked if he wanted to throw out any minutes limitations in an effort to help the New York Knicks make the playoffs. “So we can’t keep saying limitations -- that’s a coach’s decision at the end of the day.

“I feel great,” he continued. “I am ready to play. But it’s up to him if he wants to play me or not.”

After missing seven games with an ankle injury, Stoudemire played four minutes and scored two points in a loss to Miami last Saturday. During Monday’s 101-98 loss in Milwaukee, Stoudemire played 17 minutes and had seven points and four rebounds.

Earlier in the season, the Knicks wanted to limit minutes for Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin in an effort to keep them fresh for the playoffs.

Stoudemire averages 18.9 minutes, 9.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 53.9% shooting on the season.

Stoudemire was asked if he is getting back to where he was before injuring his ankle.

“I feel great man,” Stoudemire said following Knicks practice after Woodson had already spoken with reporters. “It don’t take much for me. I have been playing at a high level my entire career. I know what it takes to get back to the top of the game.

“I know what it takes to feel confident,” he continued. “That’s never going to go away. It’s just a matter of how the coach is going to play me. I am available if they need me. If not, then we go with that.”

Woodson typically likes to play Carmelo Anthony at power forward and Tyson Chandler at center. Still, Stoudemire says he has let Woodson know that he wants to play more.

“Yeah, I talk to Coach all the time about it,” Stoudemire said. “He knows I am ready. He knows how hard I train. He watches me in the weight room and also on the basketball court. The whole training staff knows, the Knicks organization knows how hard I train.

“I am ready to play. But it depends on how the game is played.”

Opening tip: Will Woody play Tyler more?

January, 30, 2014
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The game was long over as the Knicks had already built a 35-point lead on the Boston Celtics in the third quarter.

But the blowout created some valuable playing time for Jeremy Tyler and he took full advantage. The young big man took a pass from Cole Aldrich and threw down a nasty dunk with 1:39 remaining in the third against the Celtics. That punctuated a 17-point, 5-rebound and 2-block performance in 23 minutes during a 114-88 win over Boston on Tuesday night.

Tyler shot 7-for-9 from the field. While the Celtics put up little fight, Tyler certainly made a case for some minutes moving forward.

"Obviously, he played well and he should have a lot of confidence going forward," Mike Woodson said on The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show. "From a coach's standpoint, you really don't know what you are going to get from these young guys because their time really comes in practice.

"Now he is playing in a major game and contributing and doing a bunch of positive things on the floor to help you win," Woodson continued. "You hope that continues. It was nice to see."

Woodson said he loves seeing young guys transfer hard work on the practice floor to games. But the old school coach also leans pretty hard on his veterans and defensive-minded guys for the most part.

But with Andrea Bargnani out indefinitely, Tyler does have an opportunity to see some minutes. Kenyon Martin says he is playing on Thursday against Cleveland despite rolling his troublesome left ankle. Martin acknowledges that he may miss more time later this season if the ankle pain persists. Also, Amar'e Stoudemire is still rehabbing his ankle injury.

There could be some minutes for Tyler to spell Tyson Chandler or even play beside Chandler if Woodson wants to go big. Playing Tyler a few minutes also takes some wear and tear off Martin's ankle.

Woodson said he has noticed how his younger players have stepped up. He mentioned Tim Hardaway Jr. and Cole Aldrich as two young players he has been impressed with. Hardaway Jr. is averaging 8.6 points and is shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from behind the arc.

The rookie shooter, who has scored in double figures in each of his last three games, could see more minutes if Iman Shumpert's shoulder keeps him out on Thursday. Shumpert is listed as day to day.

While Hardaway Jr. is making a case for a role in the rotation, Tyler and Aldrich have shown Woodson what they can do when pressed into action as well.

"You never know what you are going to get from young players from day to day," Woodson said. "Most young players when they come into our league they are on a roller coaster ride and they are trying to figure it out. It is not their fault. Just the makeup of our league.

"Tim Hardaway has played some games this season down the stretch," Woodson later added. "That's how much confidence I have with him ... I feel really good about Timmy. Jeremy and Cole are just starting to get their feet wet. If they continue at the pace they are playing, I wouldn't have any problem throwing them in there down the stretch."

Up now: Woodson loved what La La said about Carmelo's future.

Tyson credits team meetings with sparking the Knicks' latest turnaround.

Tim Jr. will be participating in All-Star Weekend's Rising Stars Challenge featuring rookies and sophomores.

Begley examines Melo to the Bulls speculation.

The Knicks sent three down to the NBDL for some practice time.

What's next: The Knicks go for four in a row against the Cavs at MSG.

Question of the day: Do you think Woody should play Hardaway Jr. and Tyler more moving forward?

Notebook: K-Mart OK after ankle scare

January, 29, 2014
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NEW YORK -- Kenyon Martin returned from a five-game absence to rest his troublesome left ankle only to roll it on Tuesday night in his return against the Celtics.

Martin played nine minutes and looked like he was feeling good with six points, one rebound, one block and one rim-shaking dunk before rolling his left ankle. He did not play after the injury but said he sat out for precautionary reasons and will be play Thursday against the Cavaliers.

[+] EnlargeKenyon Martin
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesKenyon Martin had a strong showing before exiting with an ankle injury.
The Knicks still pounded the Celtics 114-88 despite being short-handed. Iman Shumpert injured his shoulder in the first quarter, and Beno Udrih was not available in the second half due to illness.

“I probably could have finished the game if we weren’t up so big,” Martin said. “So that’s a good sign.”

Martin said he sat out the previous five games to rest his left ankle and that he did not suffer any new injury to it the previous time he played, against Indiana on Jan. 16.

“[Just needed to] give it time to get the soreness out of there,” Martin said before the game. “And I took the time off that I need.”

“Just overuse,” he added about his ankle. “Been going every day and playing a lot of minutes. Just needed a break. Not one thing happened. Just been fighting through it, fighting through it, fighting through it, and the body lets you know. So at my age, you got to listen.”

Martin said that if his ankle feels like that later again this season, he will take some more days off to rest it.

But he said he is good to go for Thursday night.

TYSON’S BACK: Tyson Chandler recorded his second double-double in a row for the first time this season and is starting to finally feel like himself again.

Chandler had 12 points and 13 rebounds against the Celtics after posting 13 points and 14 rebounds against the Lakers on Sunday.

“I’m really starting to feel better,” said Chandler, who has played a total of just 21 games this season after missing time due to illness and a fractured leg. “I’m starting to feel like myself again, I’m starting to get my legs back.

“I knew when I came back from that injury that it would take a while to get going, but I’m starting to feel good.”

Chandler did roll his ankle against the Celtics but said he is feeling fine.

TYLER’S BIG DUNK: Jeremy Tyler took full advantage of the Knicks’ blowout win. He played 23 minutes, hit 7 of 9 shots and had 17 points, five rebounds and two blocks.

He also threw down one monster dunk as he took a pass and went from the left side of the basket before coming up on the right side and throwing down a vicious slam.

“He played well,” Mike Woodson said. “You go back to the Charlotte and Laker games, he has given us some positive energy offensively. Obviously, some of the hard work that he has put in is starting to pay off.”

Opening tip: Moving on without Bargs

January, 24, 2014
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The hits just keep coming for the New York Knicks.

Already decimated by frontcourt injuries, the Knicks must move forward without Andrea Bargnani.

Bargnani tore a ligament in his left elbow on Wednesday night and is out indefinitely.

Mike Woodson already tended to go with a more defensive-oriented lineup over using Bargnani, especially in crunch time. And using Carmelo Anthony at power forward typically yields better matchups with Tyson Chandler at center.

[+] EnlargeAndrea Bargnani, LeBron James
AP Photo/Frank Franklin IICan the 'Bockers get by without Andrea Bargnani?
Say what you want to say about Bargnani's lack of defense, he provided the Knicks with 13.3 points per game, second on the team behind Carmelo. Bargnani gave the Knicks a scoring threat more consistent this season than J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert. Bargnani shot 44.2 percent from the field and averaged 12.0 shots a game, third behind Anthony's 21 shots a game and Smith's 12.1.

Replacing height when Woodson needs it will be an issue. At the moment, Amar'e Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace are out with sprained left ankles. Woody will have to use Jeremy Tyler and perhaps Cole Aldrich for some minutes.

The injury also creates an opportunity for Tim Hardaway Jr. Felton and Smith already take double-digit shot attempts each game. Shumpert will likely have to take more than the 6.6 shots he has hoisted up per game thus far.

Woodson could start Felton and Pablo Prigioni in the backcourt to have two point guards on the floor again. If he wants to go with a big lineup, he will have to wait for one of his forwards to return from injury or start Tyler. He will likely go with his small lineup moving forward.

Either way, the reeling Knicks now have to find a way to stop a five-game losing streak without their second-leading scorer. The Bargnani injury probably helps Woodson's job status more than anything. But again, the Knicks would have been hurting to find a coaching replacement if they wanted to make a move. As long as he has the support of his locker room, Woody remains the best man for the job, especially with the limited replacement options, if any.

Up now: Bargnani is out indefinitely.

Woodson says Melo is "on board" and he discusses his relationship with Chandler moving forward.

Here's Beg's midseason report card.

What's next: The Knicks try to stop the bleeding against Charlotte at home at 7:30. An already ugly situation could get even more bleak with yet another home loss.

Question of the day: Which Knick has to step up the most with Bargnani out and which startling lineup would you go with?

Notebook: Recovery day for Melo

January, 23, 2014
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Knicks had a three-hour practice and long film session despite a few players taking a recovery day.

Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton rested on Thursday. Andrea Bargnani (torn ligament in left elbow) joined injured forwards Amar'e Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin and Metta World Peace on the did not practice list. The Knicks still had enough bodies to go 5-on-5 in practice.

The Knicks (15-27) now must find a way to stop a five-game slide without Bargnani, Stoudemire, Martin and MWP Friday at home against Charlotte. Even though Mike Woodson often opts to go with a more defensive-oriented lineup in crunch time, Bargnani is the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.3 points per game. And he averaged 1.2 blocks per game.

The Knicks have plenty of issues to correct, and that was before Bargnani’s injury was revealed on Thursday afternoon.

J.R. Smith was asked about the team's film session after losing to the Sixers on Wednesday night at home.

"I mean right now, we’re pretty much open to anything new, our old stuff really isn’t getting it done," Smith said. "At the end of the day, it’s going to come from the players. I don’t think it’s any coaches’ fault, or our scheme’s fault or anything else like that. You play hard and you play smart, it’s hard to lose games."

Beno talks: Beno Udrih addressed a report by ESPN New York's Ian Begley about the point guard requesting a trade in recent days. Udrih said he will remain professional.

“I’m a Knick," Udrih said. "I’ve always been a professional and I'm going to stay a professional. Whatever happens outside basketball court, it’s not in my power to do it. If something happens, it happens. Right now I’m a Knick, wearing a Knick uniform."

On whether he wants to remain in New York, Udrih said, "Yeah, that’s my first option." "There’s a lot of options out there for everybody, but I’m a Knick," he said. "I want to be here. I believe the team has more than enough talent to succeed. We just have to get it together and do our jobs."

Udrih said he hasn't spoken to coach Mike Woodson in recent days.

K-Mart: Smith stunt 'a stupid joke'

January, 10, 2014
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The NBA took J.R. Smith's shoelace stunt pretty seriously. But in Kenyon Martin's eyes, Smith's antics were "a stupid joke" that was "blown out of proportion."

Smith
Smith
"Once everybody started making a big deal out of it the league jumps on it," Martin said Thursday night. "It's been blown out of proportion. It's been blown way out of proportion. There was no malice or nothing like that. ... It's a stupid joke blown too far and people making a bigger deal of it than it is."

Smith was fined $50,000 by the NBA for his attempts to untie two opponents' shoelaces in recent New York Knicks games. The 28-year-old was also benched by coach Mike Woodson on Thursday against the Miami Heat. It is unclear if Smith will play Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers.

"It's an unfortunate situation," Martin said. "You hate to see somebody lose his hard-earned money and be put in a situation where he can't help his team go out and win."

Smith said after Thursday's game he thought the NBA's fine was a bit exorbitant.

"It was a joke but a joke gone wrong," he said.

The reigning Sixth Man award winner also apparently pulled the stunt with Houston's Dwight Howard.

Smith was seen on video untying Howard's laces on Jan. 3. Howard tried to retaliate, but was rebuffed by Smith.

“I’m glad I didn’t. I’d have lost some money," Howard told the Houston Chronicle. "I didn’t do that.”

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Rapid Reaction: Knicks 89, Pistons 85

January, 7, 2014
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NEW YORK -- The Knicks look like a new team in 2014.

Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks improved to 3-1 since the calendar turned to January with a win over Detroit on Tuesday.

But it wasn't easy.

The Pistons cut a 15-point Knicks lead to two in the final 90 seconds, but Detroit couldn't hit its free throws down the stretch or take advantage of a few late Knicks turnovers.

For the first time in a month, Mike Woodson's club has won two games in a row.

New York improved to 12-22 and won back-to-back games for just the second time this season. The Knicks are 5-12 at home.

Nearly lost it: The Knicks took a 15-point lead going into the fourth quarter but went cold for most of the final frame -- and Detroit took advantage.

The Pistons cut the Knicks' lead to three with 3:20 to go on a Kyle Singler 3-pointer.

They had a chance to cut it to one with 1:23 left, but Andre Drummond made just 1 of 2 free throws. Detroit then missed its final five shots as the Knicks sealed the win from the free throw line.

Melo fellow: Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 34 and did most of his damage in the third quarter.

Anthony had 13 in the third and hit three straight 3-pointers during one stretch as New York went on a 15-0 run.

Andrea Bargnani added 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Kenyon Martin filled in nicely for Tyson Chandler (illness). Martin had 6 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks, including a key swat late in the fourth.

Ray's back: Raymond Felton had 12 points, 6 assists and 4 turnovers -- including two late in the fourth quarter -- in his first game back following a six-game absence due to a groin injury. Iman Shumpert continued his aggressive approach. He had 5 points, 5 assists and 6 rebounds.

What's next: The Knicks will practice on Wednesday to prepare for Thursday's game against the Miami Heat.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Chandler doubtful, Felton probable

January, 7, 2014
Jan 7
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The New York Knicks will likely face the Detroit Pistons tonight without center Tyson Chandler.

Chandler is listed as doubtful with an upper respiratory infection. The Knicks, though, likely will have point guard Raymond Felton, who is probable to play with a right groin injury.

Chandler lasted just four minutes in the Knicks' win at Dallas on Sunday due to his illness. Kenyon Martin and Amar'e Stoudemire stepped up in Chandler's absence. Martin had 14 points and six rebounds in 29 minutes and Stoudemire had 11 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.

Felton has missed the past six games and has played in just one of the past 13 games. If Felton returns, Beno Udrih slides back to his reserve role.

Kenyon Martin active vs. Mavericks

January, 5, 2014
Jan 5
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DALLAS -- Kenyon Martin is active for the New York Knicks For Sunday night's game against the Dallas Mavericks. Martin was a game-time decision due to his sore left ankle.

Coach Mike Woodson had said Martin would test the ankle prior to the game and then they would decide whether or not he would play.

Martin rejoins the team after missing the game Friday night against the Houston Rockets.

Opening tip: All I want for Christmas is ...

December, 24, 2013
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Anthony-Durant Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY SportsWill Santa deny us a Christmas duel between Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant?
It's Christmas!

Is it too much to ask Santa for a miracle and turn the Knicks back into 50-win contenders again? OK, scratch that. Let's ask for something a little more realistic (or so we hope!). How about helping Carmelo Anthony's sprained left ankle heal overnight so that the reigning scoring champ can play against Kevin Durant?

After all the bad basketball and injuries we have had to watch thus far this season with both the Knicks and Nets, all I want for Christmas is good New York Christmas basketball. Can't you hear Mariah sing it?

A healthy Melo versus KD Christmas showdown isn't too much to ask Santa for, is it? After everything we have seen with the Knicks thus far this season, something tells me that might be too much to ask for.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Durant has scored at least 30 points in each of the past three Christmas games he has played in (44 versus Denver in 2010, 30 versus Orlando in 2011, 33 at Miami in 2012). Meanwhile, Anthony is pretty good on Christmas, too, scoring 32 for Denver versus Portland in 2009, 37 against Boston in 2011 and 34 versus the Lakers in 2012.

When Melo sprained his ankle Monday night in Orlando, the Knicks had to be wondering what else might come their way. They've lost Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Metta World Peace and Kenyon Martin to injuries this season. But losing Melo for any period of time is the worst possible blow to the Knicks.

Hopefully, the Knicks won't get a glimpse of what life will be like without Melo. Because as ugly as this season has been at times for the Knicks, at least they have had Carmelo around. Without Anthony, the Knicks will have to rely heavily on J.R. Smith.

J.R. versus Durant? Apologies to Smith but that's not what we, the NBA and dare I say Mariah, had in mind for Christmas Day when the schedule came out.

Up now: Carmelo is a game-time decision.

Here's W2W4 for the game. Also Kenyon is questionable and Raymond is out.

Do you think the Knicks should go big or small with their lineup?

What's next: Merry Christmas! It's Knicks versus Thunder at 2:30 p.m. ET at the Garden.

Question of the day: What do you want for Christmas? Answer must be Knick-related.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
24.5 3.3 0.9 37.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.4
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.5
StealsP. Prigioni 1.3
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.3