The Knicks were in midair somewhere over California’s central valley when physics and physiology conspired against them.
Amar’e Stoudemire’s sprained ankle swelled at 30,000 feet Friday afternoon, forcing a sudden shift in the Knicks’ identity. Stoudemire, the high-flying rim bender, was out. Josh Harrellson, the stout rookie jump-shooter, was in. New Year’s Eve had just become more interesting.
It also proved eye-opening.
Harrellson produced a double-double in his first N.B.A. start, and Tyson Chandler became the Knicks’ surprise clutch scorer Saturday night as the Knicks rolled to a 114-92 victory over the Sacramento Kings.