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D'Antoni optimistic about Amar'e; Billups has knee drained


Posted Apr 21 2011 2:40PM

GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -- Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni is optimistic All-Star forward Amare Stoudemire will be available for Game 3 of their playoff series with the Boston Celtics.

He's less encouraged about point guard Chauncey Billups.

Neither injured player practiced Thursday. Stoudemire stayed at home so driving wouldn't aggravate the pulled muscle causing the back spasms that kept him out of the second half of Game 2. Instead, Knicks trainers would come to him.

"You don't know until he wakes up,'' D'Antoni said of Stoudemire's status for Friday, when the Knicks return to Madison Square Garden trailing 2-0.

Billups underwent treatment for his strained left knee at the Knicks' training facility. He said he had a cortisone shot and had the knee drained Wednesday. Billups missed Game 2 after he was hurt on a drive to the basket near the end of the series opener.

"Just hoping for the best,'' Billups said.

Asked why he was less optimistic about Billups, D'Antoni said with a laugh, "He hurts more.''

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