John Starks remains confident that the New York Knicks will make the NBA play-offs so long as their injury problems don't develop into a crisis.
The Knicks are top of the Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division standings following Sunday's 100-87 victory over New Orleans.
But Starks, who played for the Knicks for eight years, is concerned that injuries to Raymond Felton (finger) and Jason Kidd (back) could place too much strain on the rest of the squad, who on Thursday will take on the Detroit Pistons in the third NBA regular-season game to be staged at the O2 Arena in London.
"They are playing very well right now," Starks told Sky Sports News. "We have Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler, who was on the Olympic team this year. Raymond Felton is obviously hurt right now and Jason Kidd, but these guys are playing some incredible basketball.
"We're excited about coming over here and playing against the Detroit Pistons. They're playing very good basketball now. They had a slow start to the season but they are starting to play a lot better, so it should make for an exciting game come Thursday."
Anthony played the leading role on Sunday, scoring 27 points against New Orleans, while rookie Chris Copeland weighed in with 22 points as the Knicks recovered from a slow start to bring a run of three straight losses to an end.
Starks says the victory is a further indication that his former team is starting to put their indifferent form behind them and he believes that the imminent return of guard Iman Shumpert bodes well for the Knicks.
"I like their chances [of reaching the play-offs] a great deal," said Starks, who in 1994-95 became the first player in NBA history to make 200 three-pointers in one season.
"Right now we have some guys who are hurt. Shumpert will be back - hopefully he might play over here, while Raymond Felton will hopefully be back at the end of this month.
"We can play either way: we can play big or we can small basketball. The key to our chances in the play-offs is going in there healthy. If we are a healthy team, we're a dangerous team and we've got opportunities to win."
The Detroit Pistons against the New York Knicks will be the first NBA game played in the UK to be shown live in Sky Sports 1 HD and 3D, and will also be available live on mobile, online and tablet devices via Sky Go.
NBA coverage on Sky Sports continues with live Sunday night games for the rest of the regular season, including double-headers most weekends, followed by live NBA Playoff games, the entire Eastern Conference Finals, and every game of the NBA Finals in June.
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