The Knicks have been in the doldrums for a while now and although they have had their share of injuries so far this season, there has been none greater (except for Melo’s absences) than their PG Raymond Felton. And if all goes as planned and he returns on Saturday to face the 76ers, then it will be Knick fans saying “Everyone loves Raymond!”
The extra floor-time that 40 year old Jason Kidd has had to endure seems to be taking a toll on him and his performance. 29.3 minutes per game is not what he signed up for when coming to N.Y. and it has shown. In his 3-point shooting alone, for example, he was draining them at an amazing 52.5% clip prior to mid December. In the last month that percentage has dropped to a more pedestrian 36.1%.
There is an old expression that goes, “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” How very true since Felton went down with a broken right pinkie in the game vs the Lakers. Before that injury, the Knicks were rolling with a 20-8 record. Since Felton got hurt they are just under .500 at 5-6.
The player that probably has been the most adversly affected by Felton’s absence is Amare Stoudemire who returned to the floor on New Year’s Day only to find that his old pick-and-roll buddy from the 2010 season was on the bench. It will be interesting to see if once Felton is back up to speed if those two can return to the success they enjoyed two seasons ago.
In the meantime the speedy point guard, who had an underwhelming season with Portland last year, and the Knicks players cannot wait for his return. “I’ve talked to Melo, Amare, Tyson, J-Kidd”, Felton said. “They’re like, ‘We can’t wait to get you back.’ I’m like, ‘I can’t wait to get back!’”
We’ll find out soon enough why “Everyone DOES love Raymond!”