Tom Thibodeau made some changes to his rotation on Sunday, hoping to wake up his depleted team.
Regular backups Cam Reddish and Derrick Rose did not play, although it was the back of the game that caused Rose to sit out. It existed. Red, however, was strictly about performance. He struggled as he returned from a right jaw injury and found himself in a new role off the bench. He played just seven minutes against the Mavericks on Saturday.
Thibodeau only went nine deep in the Knicks’ 92-81 win over the Cavaliers and used second-year guard Miles McBride in place of Rose. McBride played well on eight defensive snaps in the first half and posted a plus-11 rating.
Thibodeau cut his rotation to nine at the start of the last five-game West Coast trip, but has recently returned to 10 in the last few games.
A day later, Thibodeau was still frustrated with the Knicks’ inability to control the defensive window Saturday. They allowed the Mavericks 14 offensive rebounds, which led to 24 second-chance points.
“You have to know what’s going on in the game, so obviously they’re going to take a lot of 3s. 3s, a lot of long rebounds,” Thibodeau said. “So if you’re running and the ball is going over your head, your guards have elbow room to chase long balls. So that was probably the biggest thing, the reaction to the long rebound [extra possessions for them]. So that’s a concern.”
The Knicks have struggled to control the defensive boards all season and are tied with the Timberwolves for 26th in the league at 73.3 percent defensive rebounding. This has been especially problematic lately.
Ryan Arcidacono (sprained left ankle) is out. … The Cavs were without former Nets center Jarrett Allen (back) and Dean Wade (shoulder). … Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor entered the game.