One center enters, two centers leave.
Backup big man Taj Gibson sits out due to a sore groin – and left in the third quarter after starter Mitchell Robinson took an elbow to the nose – Nerlens Noel logged 29 minutes off the bench in the Knicks’ 106-99 win at Garden. On the Rockets on Saturday.
Noel recorded three blocked shots in his first appearance since November 8 after missing the previous four games with a knee injury.
“Nerlens gives you elite rim protection, good decision-making, a lot of effort. So you couldn’t ask for anything more from your center,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. So that’s a big deal. ”
At the start of the third quarter, Robinson was struck in the nose by Jay’Sean Tate’s elbow and did not return to the game, but Noel continued to play after Christian Wood’s mouth was bleeding from his elbow.
Noel, who signed a three-year deal worth $ 27.7 million in the summer after finishing third in the NBA with 2.2 blocks per game, said he expected to play in Chicago on Sunday.
“My knee was in a decent place. Not a good place but you know I’m good enough to go out there and give what I have, ”Noel said. “My air, I feel good [Sunday]. I’m looking forward to it. ”
Thibodeau added that Wednesday’s defeat to the Magic “just over the course of the game” has been a day since Gibson fatigued his groin. Regarding Robinson, he said, “We’ll see how he is [Sunday]. “
Kemba Walker recorded nine points and three assists in 21 minutes, and Thibodeau did not rule out an experienced guard playing Sunday’s second back-to-back games against the Bulls.
Walker sat on the front end of the Knicks’ back-to-back situation on November 7 against Cleveland.
“We’ll talk to him in the morning. See where he is,” Thibodeau said. You believe Kemba He knows his body better than anyone else.