The New York Knicks could get a couple of key players back on Friday night.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said swingman J.R. Smith is “good to go” for the Knicks’ final preseason game against the Charlotte Bobcats Friday night.
Woodson also told Begley he “hopes” to have two veteran big men, Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin, back for the game as well.
The plan is for both veterans, who have battled injuries throughout their career, to get some in-game action before the Knicks start the regular season Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Last season, Stoudemire played in just 29 games for the Knicks. He averaged 14.2 points and 5.0 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game. Martin appeared in 18 games, averaging 7.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 0.94 blocks in 23.9 minutes per game.
The Knicks are counting on Stoudemire and Martin to form an excellent big man rotation with Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani, who the team traded for in the offseason.
J.R. Smith, who averaged 18.1 points per game and won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award, is suspended for the first five games for a drug violation.