A back injury to Knicks center Enes Kanter forced the Turkish center to miss the team’s last three games. In his absence, Willy Hernangomez has received more playing time and in Monday’s loss, Joakim Noah played his first three minutes of the season. If Noah is active, the Knicks have four options at center since Kyle O’Quinn is still on the roster, and head coach Jeff Hornacek does not know how the team will manage their bigs, Alex Squadron of the New York Post relays.
Hornacek addressed sending Hernangomez to the G League so he can play consistent minutes, but downplayed that possibility.
“I don’t think we’ve discussed that so far,” Hornacek said. “As we move forward, if we’re back with Enes and Kyle, and maybe even Jo occasionally, we are going to need to figure that out. I don’t know if we can always dress four bigs.”
The Knicks are in an unenviable situation with four centers. Noah has two more expensive seasons on his contract after 2017/18, Kanter is the incumbent starter, O’Quinn has been a productive reserve, and Hernangomez is just 23 years old. Barring an injury – or stretching Noah – the Knicks will have to somehow find minutes at one position for four players the rest of the season.
Check out other news around the Atlantic Division:
- Speaking of Noah, his three minutes on Monday included two points, one block, and one rebound. Jonathan Lehman of the New York Post writes that while the season debut was brief, Hornacek wanted to get energy from Noah in limited action. “Oh my god, it’s been so long,” Noah said. “Just to be on the court is special. … Playing in the Garden is something I’ll never take for granted.”
- Spencer Dinwiddie has been productive for the Nets in the absence of Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell. In a recent podcast, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic and Dieter Kurtenbach of the San Jose Mercury-News discussed Dinwiddie’s trade value and Net Income at NetsDaily examined the possibility of the Nets trading their starting point guard.
- Joel Embiid‘s recovery from knee surgery has limited the Sixers big man in playing back-to-back games this season. As the start of December looms, head coach Brett Brown is unsure if Embiid can play a back-to-back starting with this week’s games on Wednesday and Thursday, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes.
- Ben Simmons left the Sixers‘ loss versus the Cavaliers early on Monday after he sprained his right ankle — x-rays taken after the game were negative. Dave McMenamin of ESPN also detailed how Cavaliers — specifically forward Jae Crowder — shut down Simmons before his early exit.