Nike finally got Alec Burks back after he missed the last eight COVID-19 games.
And the Knicks swing delivered, making his first four shots as he stepped off the bench to start the second quarter, and delivered two exquisite assists, including Obi Topin’s Alley.
But Burkes couldn’t finish what he started when he became entangled with Memphis goalkeeper Ja Morant and twisted his ankle, forcing him to leave the game with the remaining four minutes.
Burkes, who also handled some of the guard’s duties on his return, was not released after the game and his status now seems uncertain for Wednesday’s game in Denver.
“His first game back, I thought he did some really good things,”
Burkes made his first shot attempt since the game against New Orleans on April 18 – a threesome that came in, went out and came back. Whether he will be ready to continue his return remains to be seen.
After Taj Gibson started for the injured Nerlens Noel, Norvel Pele got the reserve role as Thibodeau decided not to play with a small ball.
“Pele gave us really good minutes,” Thibodeau said. Pele, who has a partially guaranteed deal for next season, came in 14 minutes, registered five blocks, scored two points and was a plus-7.
Knicks sign defender Jared Harper for another 10-day contract. When that expires, they will have a few more days to color the Argentine Luca Vildosa, but they are definitely interested in next season. – Leon [Rose], Wes [William Wesley] and Scott [Perry] we are always looking at the opportunities we could have, “said Thibodeau. – It depends on them. If something makes sense and we think it can help us, we will always look for it. But we are obviously happy with the players we have. “