As the uncertainty surrounding Rasheed Wallace's left foot injury lingers, members of the New York Knicks organization fear Wallace will be out for an extended period, possibly for the entire season, two league sources told ESPNNewYork.com.
It's been sort of remarkable the way Rasheed Wallace went quickly from amusing figure on the end of the bench, to critical member of the second unit, to day to day with a minor injury, to we'll likely never see him again. It's been something of a whirlwind.
What's been really more amazing is how much they've missed him, both his ability to defend, his skill in posting-up and his ability to stretch the floor with three-point shooting, even if such shooting was sometimes mildly ill-advised. Without him, the defense has sagged -- though there's some evidence that was already happening -- and with Marcus Camby also struggling with injuries, rumors have intensified that the Knicks are stepping up efforts to lure Kenyon Martin to add another defensive presence off the bench and ensure there is always at least one lunatic in a Knicks uniform at all times.
Of course, Martin is a far different player on offense and doesn't bring exactly the type of skills the Knicks are missing in Wallace, but without Camby AND Rasheed, there really is a need for someone off the bench who can spell Tyson Chandler without suffering so much on defense. Stoudemire can play center in spurts, but given his problems protecting the paint it's not an ideal substitute. Personally, I can see the logic of Martin, but I'm not totally excited about the idea either, mainly because I'm just not sure at this point in his career he really has all that much to offer, though I suppose he can step in to the Kurt Thomas role of "filling in a pair of shorts."