The New York Knicks hope that their three-day break following a trip out west was enough to get some key players back on the court.
Both Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire are questionable for the Knicks' Tuesday night matchup with the streaking Portland Trail Blazers.
The 30-year-old Stoudemire is looking to make his season debut following left knee surgery undergone right before the start of the season. He averaged 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in 47 games a season ago, his second with the Knicks.
Stoudemire had recently been rehabbing with New York's D-League affiliate and practiced with the Knicks on Sunday.
"It would be great if I could go January 1," he said, "but again, I can't determine how I'll feel (Monday) or the following day. But if the next two days go well and I continue to improve, then that would be a great day to start back playing."
Stoudemire did not talk to reporters following Monday's practice and head coach Mike Woodson said the club should have a better feel today as to if Stoudemire would be able to go.
"I thought (Stoudemire) moved around pretty good," noted Woodson. "We'll assess him (Tuesday). Still day-to-day as far as I'm concerned. We'll see how he feels and he'll let us know, but he got through everything today, which is kind of nice."
Should Stoudemire be active, he would likely come off the bench as he works on his conditioning.
There is also a question to as if Anthony will be able to return from a hyperextended left knee that has held him out of the last two games. Anthony, tied for second in the NBA in scoring at 28.5 points per game, was limited in practice on Monday.
"Still trying to get my lift back," said Anthony, who described the injury as weakness as opposed to pain. "(Sunday) was the first day that I actually did something on the court, shooting and today I got through most of the practice. It still does not feel right as far as my bounce and having my lift and the power that I need off that."
He added he probably wouldn't know until closer to game time his availability.
The Knicks lost two of three on their swing out west, dropping Friday's finale 106-105 to Sacramento on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by the Kings' James Johnson.
J.R. Smith scored a season-high 28 points with seven rebounds and five assists for the Knicks. Chris Copeland had 23 points, while Tyson Chandler donated 21 points and 18 boards.
New York fell to 9-7 on the road this season compared to 12-2 at home.
The Trail Blazers have had similar issues, bringing a 4-10 road mark into this meeting. They have won seven of their last nine overall, but both losses came on the road.
Portland logged an 89-85 home victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, getting 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds from Nicolas Batum.
Damian Lillard added 20 points, while J.J. Hickson contributed his 18th double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points, five boards and four assists in the victory.
"We've had bounce-back wins all season, so I thought this was a really good game for us to bounce back tonight," said Aldridge, whose club lost on the road to the Los Angeles Lakers the previous night.
The Knicks routed the Trail Blazers at home 121-79 in the lone meeting last season. The 42-point margin of victory was the largest for New York in this series, while the 79 points were the second-fewest that Portland has ever scored versus the Knicks.
The Blazers have still won seven of the last 10 meetings overall and four of their last six in New York.