The Knicks medical team has been one of the most challenged units over the past few years as the New York front office has routinely overpaid for veterans with complex injury issues. Eddy Curry, Amar’e Stoudemire, Jerome James, Kenyon Martin, and Rasheed Wallace are just a few of the names that missed extensive amount of time while playing for the Knicks. Last year was more the same as the often-injured Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah missed a combined 45 games, costing the team $10.2 million in salary dollars lost.
Despite the problems presented by the two former Bulls, Roger Hinds and his staff remained near the league average for total games lost for the second straight season. Hinds successfully kept Carmelo Anthony on the court as the then-32-year-old forward appeared in 74 games, his second-highest total as a Knick. However even Melo’s continual presence in the lineup couldn’t help the team end a four-year playoff drought.
The front office opted to move on from both Phil Jackson and Anthony, determined to build around Kristaps Porzingis. Keeping Porzingis healthy while he shoulders his new responsibilities will be a key focus of the Knicks medical team. “The Unicorn” has missed 26 games in his first two seasons in the league and has already reported soreness in his right hip. Rookie Frank Ntilikina also enters the season with injury concerns having missed time in the preseason with minor groin and knee injuries. Returning these key contributors to the court should help the Knicks jumpstart what could be a painstaking rebuild.