The outstanding recent play of Knicks veteran big men Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson has appeared to validate the team’s decision not to sign center Andre Drummond on the buyout market, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Berman notes that head coach Tom Thibodeau ultimately made the call to not add Drummond.
“Those guys cover so much for us on the defensive end, blocking shots, being in the right position,” All-Star forward Julius Randle raved of the Knicks’ two veteran bigs. “They anchor our defense, honestly. They make my job easier, our guards’ job easier. It’s just amazing to have those two guys behind you. If you make mistakes, they’re going to cover for you.’’
Noel and Gibson have had to step up in the absence of Knicks center Mitchell Robinson, anticipated to miss the rest of the year with a broken foot.
There’s more out of the Big Apple:
- Thanks to sharpshooting Nets duo Landry Shamet and Joe Harris connecting on 43% of their triples combined since the league’s All-Star break, Brooklyn might have its own poor man’s version of a “Splash Brothers” shooting tandem, writes Matthew Brooks of NetsDaily.
- 32-year-old veteran Knicks reserve guard Derrick Rose is relishing his second tour of duty in New York, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “It’s great being on a young team where everybody is locked in, everybody loves playing with one another and everyone is on the same page — which is to win games,” Rose said. “So it’s perfect.”
- Nets center Nicolas Claxton and power forward Reggie Perry have entered the NBA’s coronavirus health and safety protocols, tweets Malika Andrews of ESPN.