Monday, March 10, 2008

Eddy Curry Likely Out For The Season - More Minutes For Wilson Chandler & Randolph Morris

An MRI has revealed that Eddy Curry has a vertical cartilage tear in his right knee. Surgery is required to repair the damage and by all accounts Curry will more than likely opt for the season-ending procedure sometime later this week.

Fantasy Impact

With Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph hurt and candidates to possibly be shut down early (more on this in part 3 of our Tanking Casualties and Solutions series tomorrow) the Knicks will be forced to turn to some fresh faces to round out the lineup. The biggest beneficiary of these injuries among the Knicks bench players will be 2007 first round pick Wilson Chandler.

Glued to the bench for a majority of the season, Chandler has seen his playing time increase of late, averaging 25+ minutes over the last four games which has included two starts at power forward. Chandler is very raw but an excellent athlete capable of helping in points and rebounds.

Like Chandler, Morris hasn't played much this season. However, the possibility of Curry and Randolph being sidelined leaves Morris as the last true big man (Jerome James doesn't count) on the roster outside of David Lee and the undersized Malik Rose who are better suited to play PF.

In Wednesday's game against the Cavs, Morris had 7 points and 7 rebounds in only 12 minutes showing some potential as a late season fantasy contributor. Unfortunately, Isiah has only played him a total of 9 minutes over the past two games. Way to build up the young man's confidence.

Despite Saturday's benching of Morris, Isiah appears committed to playing both youngsters a good amount over the team's final 19 games. When asked about playing Morris and Chandler after the game, Isiah was quoted in the New York Post as saying "It's time. It really is that simple. It's time."

I am certainly not ready to reccomend either as a fantasy option yet. However, it is worth mentioning that these two youngsters are in a position to see ample playing time late in the season and could be nice stopgap options come the fantasy basketball playoffs.

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