In the first 10 games of the season, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau kept intact the same starting lineup, a testament to his faith in the quintet and the group’s ability to avoid injury.
The Knicks are believed not to have had the same starters in the first 10 games in at least 20 years.
The starting series ended on Monday in Charlotte, as well as all sorts of similarities to a good start to the game.
Reggie Bullock, who is the Knicks rock of a starting guard, came down with a sore thigh and was scratched. Thibodeau chose Austin Rivers to take on the role of Bullock and the Hornets sprinted to 10-0 and 19-5.
When Thibodeau turned to Immanuel Quickley and Kevin Knox from the bench, the Knicks came together, although they eventually lost 21
Bullock is expected to miss Wednesday’s game against the Nets. Could it finally be time for Knox to start small with the ice-cold RJ Barrett?
The Knicks were brutal by 3 points (24 to 85, 28 percent) during their three-game losing streak.
With 3-point shooter Alec Burks breastfeeding an ankle sprain, Knox can be an elixir to help heal the drop in external shooting that has helped bring the Knicks down to 5-6.
Knox started most of his rookie season in 2018-19, but when Marcus Morris was signed as a free agent in July 2019, Knox returned to the bench – and he stayed there even after Morris was traded last February. .
Last season, Knox started just four of 56 games, after starting 57 of 75 games as a rookie.
Knox now shoots with the best 40 percent of his career from a range of 3 points and an average of 7.9 points in 21 minutes.
Knox also has a history with the other four starters who played for the team last season. (Mitchell Robinson is Knox’s best friend on the team).
Rivers played well with the reserve crew and did not start before. He may have meant himself when he said that team chemistry is excluded, although most of the rotation is returned to the players.
“Our chemistry is not there yet, we are still building,” said Rivers, who missed all previous seasons and the first four games. “That’s why I say be patient, because I know it’s going to get better and better. I haven’t had a single practice all season. For the first time I played with the team against the Raptors [on Dec. 31]. So I still understand it. “
It may be wise to continue to understand it from pine.
Taj Gibson, the starting center last season and a favorite of Thibodeau, will be available to face the Nets after passing the COVID-19 protocols. Although sources say he is in shape, it is unclear whether he will play without team practice.
Gibson was signed last week to help with the depth of the front court and reduce Julius Randall’s tough minutes. Against the hornets, the exhausted-looking Randall finally made his first game, scoring just 11 points and making four turns.
But his statistics in 11 games should not be ignored. Randall joined Oscar Robertson as the only player in NBA history to record at least 200 points, 115 rebounds and 70 assists in his team’s first 11 games.
Last season, the Knicks and the Nets split the four games of the regular season.