There are so many things that go into having a successful team in the NBA. You need the right players, the right coach, the right fans and the right front office. By starting the 2012-2013 NBA season a perfect 5-0, it seems like the New York Knicks have tentatively put it all together.
It's a long season, though, and much can still happen. Among the factors that separate teams with extensive success from those with short-term success are injuries. Injuries can bring a team together as what happened with the Knicks at the end of the 2011-12 regular season, or they can bring a team down as was the case with the 2010-11 Knicks come playoff time.
Either way, injuries are a part of the game and they certainly have been a part of this season for New York. With several key players injured, the team needs to keep an eye on return dates in order to make the transitions as smooth as possible to maintain this current success.
Just days before the start of the NBA season, ESPN reported Amar'e Stoudemire would miss at least the first six weeks of the season with a ruptured cyst behind his left knee. Two weeks into the season, that number has yet to change as Stat remains watching from the sidelines.
The question for many, though, is not when he returns but rather how. Will it be as a starter or coming off of the bench? Will he be effective? If his post game has indeed improved as much as he claims following an offseason of work with Hakeem Olajuwon, there is no reason he can't be effective.
His mid-range jumper can pull the defender to open up room inside, and his post game can draw attention inside, which will in turn give Carmelo Anthony room for his outside shot. Before that happens, Stoudemire must find his way back onto the court.
This injury doesn't seem to have scared the Knicks though, as ESPN reports they have already exercised his option for next season. It seems the team agrees with the perception that Shump has the potential to be one of the premier perimeter defenders in the league.
His aggressive style of play will fit right into the swarming defense New York has shown this season. Additionally, his athleticism also allows him to make the difference offensively. He's even shown his style and swag on the sideline! It's easy to see why the Garden is impatient to see him in uniform once more.
A strained left calf kept Marcus Camby from participating in much of the preseason and in the first three games of the regular season. But it seems the big man is well on his way back.
He has played limited minutes in the two games he's appeared in, but his role is sure to increase as he returns to health and learns the system. Camby is expected to provide relief inside both in terms of rebounding and defense.
At the age of 38, though, he will need to be at full strength in order to rival younger players under the basket.
Against the Orlando Magic, Ronnie Brewer was held to just 17 minutes on the court after swelling appeared in his surgically-repaired knee. With Iman Shumpert already out, the news caused much concern for Knicks fans.
It seems the nervosity can be set aside for now, as ESPN has announced Brewer is good to go against the San Antonio Spurs on November 15, 2012. It has yet to be seen how many minutes he will play, but his knee may stop him from penetrating as effectively as he has thus far.
This will put more pressure on his outside jumper, but that has been one of his great strengths this season as he has knocked down half of his three-point attempts.