The New York Knicks can't seem to catch a break lately.  Amare Stoudemire had right knee debridement surgery (removal of tissue) just a few days ago and he's scheduled to miss at least 6 weeks.  His chances of returning during the playoffs remain in question.  Wednesday night vs the Nuggets, both Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony were forced form the floor with knee issues.  Melo has been battling knee issues for a while now and said in a recent interview he doubts he'll ever feel 100% again.  Chandler was listed as probable for the Knicks' game against the Blazers Thursday night but he took the night off.

The Knicks are one of the deeper teams in the league, but depth can only go so far.  When injuries are forcing 3 or 4 starters from the lineup on any given night, the Knicks' depth is stretched too thin.  J.R Smith and Raymond Felton can only do so much.

The Knicks do deserve some major credit for the acquisition of Forward Kenyon Martin.  When news of Amare's surgery reached the team, Martin exclaimed that this is what he's here for.  With Chandler out a few games, Martin is forced to shoulder the frontcourt load.  He's the only remaining athletic big man the Knicks have.

Anthony is out indefinitely for New York.  He's expected to miss this weekend's game against the Clippers, but he could suit up if the Knicks falter against Portland.  In basketball, knee injuries are often unpredictable and timetables hold no clout.

For the Knicks to make any sort of playoff run, they need their entire team to be healthy.  If Stoudemire can rush back, he'll be a welcome playoff addition.  The Knicks would be smart to hold Anthony and Chandler out a few games even if they fall out of the division lead.  Either way, the Knicks are essentially a lock to play Boston, Chicago, or Brooklyn in the first round of the playoffs.  Though those matchups aren't favorable, especially without home court advantage, at least the Knicks won't be facing the Heat immediately.

In theory, all Eastern Conference teams are heading toward a painful exit by the Miami Heat in the Conference Finals.  A healthy Knicks team may be the only true obstacle the Heat could face come playoff time.