New York sports: Stoudemire-hand news to be eclipsed by Game 3 of the Knicks-Heat series

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Playoff time in Miami. (nba.com)
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This evening, you may notice a brief lull in the stream of news reports on the state of Amar'e Stoudemire's hand, as the Knicks and Heat actually get down to the business of playing Game 3 of their playoff series at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks didn't look particularly competitive in Game 1, in which they were terrible, or Game 2, in which they were much better, and still nowhere close to their opponents. But then those games were in Miami, and tonight's game will be the first one at home.  

A win will suggest the possibility of a shocking scenario whereby they continue to hold serve at home, and then steal one of the remaining games in Miami.

A loss will leave the Knicks in the virtually impossible position of needing to win four straight against a team that is 30-5 at home this year and 5-0 against the Knicks overall.

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The Knicks will be at less than full strength, as has been the case for virtually the entire season. Stoudemire, whose self-inflicted injury needs no further explanation here, will be out, though he said there's "a great chance" he'll play in Game 4. The Knicks list him as doubtful. Jeremy Lin is also out for Game 3, according to the Knicks, though a Game 4 return is possible.

Fortunately for New York, Tyson Chandler, the newly crowned Defensive Player of the Year, should be fully recovered from the flu, meaning at least that Miami won't be able to score inside at will. Related: Heat center Chris Bosh is missing the game to be present for the birth of his child at a great time for the Knicks. (Mazel tov, and don't hurry back!)

Other local sports stories of interest:

The Rangers made everyone stay up late, then won their 3OT thriller.

David Phelps will make his first start for the Yankees in Kansas City tonight, right near his hometown.

The man who will replace Phelps if he struggles, Andy Pettitte, apparently had a bad day testifying in the Roger Clemens trial, from the government's point of view.

Even Bobby Bonilla's agent couldn't believe the Mets offered Bonilla so much money in deferred payments. Of course, he didn't know about the guaranteed cash cow that was Bernie Madoff.

David Wright is frustrated with the inconsistency of his team's play. Wright sure hasn't been inconsistent, hitting .400 as the Mets got swept in Houston.

The Atlantic 10, which will play its tournament in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn next season, just got better, adding Butler. Virginia Commonwealth and George Mason are rumored to be next.

Key U.S. national team striker and former New York Red Bull Jozy Altidore reflects on his successful season for Alkmaar. Altidore's development is potentially huge for the U.S.A.'s chances in World Cup 2014.

The current Red Bulls will play David Beckham's Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday, and the team's most ardent supporters will march through the streets of New York before the match. A player often compared to Altidore, current Red Bull striker Juan Agudelo, could return from a knee injury this weekend.