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Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Baron Davis sitting out

By Ian Begley
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Knicks will be without point guard Baron Davis for Tuesday night's home game against the Toronto Raptors.

Davis suffered a right hamstring strain on March 16. He sat out the Knicks' win over Indiana the next night and returned to practice on a limited basis Monday. He did not participate in the team's shootaround Tuesday morning; instead, he exercised and received treatment.

Coach Mike Woodson hopes to have Davis back for Wednesday night's road game against the Philadelphia 76ers.

"We've just got to wait on him. We're not going to rush him," Woodson said on Tuesday. "He's a big part of what we do."

Davis missed the first 31 games of the season due to a herniated disk in his back. He'd played 12 games for the Knicks and was just beginning to regain his rhythm on the court after a lengthy layoff. He's averaging 4.5 points and 5.6 assists in 17.3 minutes per game this year.

"His game was starting to shape up," Woodson said.

With Davis out, veteran Mike Bibby will likely be the first point guard off the bench Tuesday, backing up starter Jeremy Lin. Prior to Davis' injury, Bibby had played just seven minutes in the past 14 games.

Woodson also didn't rule out the possibility of using Toney Douglas, though probably not against Toronto.

Douglas had fallen out of the rotation under former coach Mike D'Antoni. He missed the past three games to be with his family for the birth of his son. Prior to that, he hadn't played in 12 straight, despite being healthy.

"Toney's a big part of our team," Woodson said. "He hadn't had a whole lot of practice time as of late for some personal reasons. But once we get him back in the flow, there's a possibility."

Davis' absence -- he's a veteran with excellent court vision -- robs the Knicks (21-24) of a valuable backup to Lin. Bibby also brings a veteran presence, but lacks mobility and has to rely heavily on his outside shot. Davis' health will be pivotal for the Knicks over the final 21 games as Woodson tries to keep everyone fresh -- in particular Lin, who logged heavy minutes in February.

"We're going to need him as we start to make the stretch run," Woodson said.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.