Chauncey Billups is inactive for Friday's Game 3 of the New York Knicks first-round NBA Playoffs series against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, reports Adam Zagoria and others. Billups injured his knee in the closing moments of Game 1 on Sunday and missed Game 2 on Tuesday. An MRI taken Wednesday came back negative, but the Knicks ruled out Billups before Friday's game.
That means second-year Florida State product Toney Douglas will be back in the starting lineup. The Knicks' depth at point guard is quite shallow; behind Douglas the team has only veteran Anthony Carter, who played limited minutes while Douglas struggled with early foul trouble in Game 2.
Douglas has a mixed performance against Boston in Game 2. His defense on Rajon Rondo was somewhere between nonexistent and proactively damaging, and he struggled to find his range. But he did hit the boards hard and got out in transition, and seemed like the team's clear best No. 2 option in the absence of Billups and Amar'e Stoudemire.
Speaking of Stoudemire, the forward remains on the active list, but will be a game-time decision. He suffered back spasms in Game 2, leaving for good in the second quarter.