Wednesday , Feb , 28 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Thomas vows to keep Knicks in hunt

(Sports Network) – If you haven’t already heard, New York Knicks guard Jamal
Crawford will most likely miss the rest of the season with a stress fracture
in his right ankle.

The injury certainly puts a damper on head coach Isiah Thomas’ plans for a
playoff run, but the former NBA star is determined that his team will not lose
focus as the postseason nears. After Crawford went down in Monday’s win over
the Miami Heat, Thomas alluded to a sign that graced the old Boston Garden.
Thomas never forgot the inspiring ‘We will not be denied’ sign, and is
determined to keep his team pushing for a playoff spot.

New York is two games off a playoff position in the Eastern Conference, but
will struggle without Crawford in the lineup. Crawford, who is averaging 17.9
points and 4.5 assists this season, is posting 17.8 points and 5.4 assists
over the last five games. In Monday’s win over Miami he finished with 20
points and buried a huge three-pointer late in the game.

The Knicks will miss his sharp-shooting ability after a CT scan and MRI
revealed the magnitude of Crawford’s injury. The former Michigan standout
hasn’t ruled out surgery, but could opt to go under the knife soon.
Crawford, who thought he had tendinitis in the ankle, has led the Knicks in
scoring a team-high 22 times and assists 27 times this season.

According to the New York Post, Quentin Richardson, Jared Jeffries, Nate
Robinson, Renaldo Balkman and Mardy Collins are expected to see more action
for the rest of the season. Thomas also noted that center Kelvin Cato may move
to the No. 2 spot on occasions.

Thomas’ squad has alternated wins and losses over the last nine games, and
will hit the road to Boston on Wednesday night.

Center Eddy Curry must continue his recent surge, as he is averaging 19.6
points and 7.8 rebounds over his last five games. Curry, who leads the team in
scoring, owns 14 double-doubles this season after posting 10 last year.

NYK