New York Knicks big man Andrea Bargnani—who tore a ligament in his left elbow against the Philadelphia 76ers on Jan. 22—called the injury “terrible” and doesn’t know when he’ll be able to return to the court.
According to the New York Post’s Marc Berman, “(Bargnani) admitted his injury was ‘terrible’ and said a timetable for his return from rehab is tricky because the ligament is completely torn.”
Bargs suffered the injury during this gruesome fall following a failed dunk attempt against Philly:
In Bargnani’s absence, however, the Knicks have finally seemed to hit their stride. They’ve won four straight games without the seven-footer by an average of more than 23 points per game. They blew out the reeling Cleveland Cavaliers, 117-86, on Thursday.
In five games prior with the Italian big man, New York lost all five contests.
The Knicks have thrived by utilizing a small-ball lineup that puts Carmelo Anthony at power forward and uses dual point guards in Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni.
“The small lineup, we know that that works,” head coach Mike Woodson said, per Berman’s article. “Hey I don’t know if we’ll go away from it this time.”
Why Woodson ever strayed away from small-ball rotations in the first place is a complete mystery, because they were the crux of last year’s team that finished the regular season with a 54-28 record.
Additionally, two of the Knicks’ three lineups that have surrendered fewer than one point per possession from opponents in 2013-14 feature ‘Melo at the 4, according to 82games.com. So even the defense has played better in such situations.
“I have no idea (on a return date),” Bargnani added, per Berman. “It’s a ligament broke and you see how it heals and how strong the arm gets. You got to make sure it’s 100 percent. I really don’t know the timeline.”
Considering how well the Knicks have played without the big man in the lineup, his setback may ultimately enhance the lowly Knicks' team chemistry.