N.B.A. Playoffs: Stoudemire a Maybe for the Knicks

Jeremy Lin, the only N.B.A. player to make Time magazine’s list of the practiced in relative anonymity. He will not play Sunday in the fourth game of the Knicks’ opening-round series against the Miami Heat. The Heat lead the best-of-seven series, three games to none. The Knicks have lost an N.B.A.-record 13 straight playoff games.

Coach Mike Woodson said the Knicks would probably make a game-time decision on Amar’e Stoudemire, who was on the losing end of a confrontation with a fire extinguisher case after Game 2 on Monday. Woodson discussed the option of starting J. R. Smith in place of Steve Novak if Stoudemire did not play. In practice, Stoudemire tested his injured hand, shooting the ball and running some offensive sets.

“He looked pretty good out here on the floor, but again, it’s not my decision,” Woodson said of Stoudemire.

Tyson Chandler said: “He looked O.K. But I don’t know, honestly, because I don’t know what his hand feels like. I didn’t see him grimace or anything catching passes, but at the end of the day, I don’t know how it’s going to react.”

Stoudemire and Chandler each took a young son to practice. The two fathers and their sons shot baskets together in a happy scene that belied the Knicks’ grim prospects.

Still, the team’s players and coaches discussed the things they can do in Game 4 to finally beat the Heat.

“I felt like our defense stepped up,” Chandler said of Game 3, adding, “It’s hard to say that you get confidence from a loss.”

Woodson praised the lineup (Smith, Landry Fields, Josh Harrellson, Jared Jeffries and Mike Bibby) that gave the Heat a difficult time in Game 3. The group, heavy on hustle and physicality, ran off an 8-1 spurt early in the second quarter.

“I didn’t get back to that,” Woodson said. “We didn’t get back to Josh Harrellson, but it’s something I’ve got to look closely at because that second unit, we were able to outplay their second unit.”

But with the end probably near, some players were in a reflective mood.

“We had great expectations for this team this year,” Chandler said.

“It’s been fun,” Carmelo Anthony said. “It’s been up and down, but for the most part, I don’t regret my decision to come here.”

Novak said, “It has been one of those years where we’ve won eight in a row, lost eight in a row.”

He added: “It’s been a very interesting year, not the easiest, especially when you’re trying to come together as one unit and it’s always changing.”

Anthony, who is 0-7 in the playoffs as a Knick, said: “Not winning at all, it hurts. I feel that. I go home at night, I think about that. But right now, my focus is for tomorrow. Them three games is behind us; tomorrow’s all we got.”

As Anthony spoke, players from the W.N.B.A’s Liberty had taken the floor, which now belonged to a team with unlimited prospects.

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