Nerlens Noel doubtful for Knicks season opener with knee pain | Agriculture


The Knicks in all probability gained’t have their beginning heart for the opener.

Nerlens Noel remained out of form Sunday and was described as “doubtful” for Wednesday’s recreation in opposition to the Celtics by coach Tom Thibodeau.

Taj Gibson, the 36-year-old veteran and a Thibodeau favourite, is the pure substitute after beginning each preseason recreation.

Mitchell Robinson can be obtainable.

“We feel like we have good quality depth,” Thibodeau mentioned. “This is part of the NBA, you have guys out, and that next guy has to be ready, he’s got to step in and get the job done.”

Noel’s harm is labeled as knee pain but it surely’s been underplayed all preseason. Thibodeau initially mentioned Noel was solely resting when he missed the primary recreation, and the 27-year-old later returned to full follow.

But Noel was by no means activated in preseason and apparently the pain hasn’t gone away.

“He’s just gotta be patient and let him work his way through it,” Thibodeau mentioned.

Gibson is the group’s oldest participant and has additionally been probably the most dependable heart. He turned the starter in final season’s playoffs after accidents to Noel and Robinson.

“I’m easy to adapt, even in practice, even in walk-through,” Gibson mentioned “I will switch from third team, first team, second team, so I just read the game. I’m comfortable. I’ve been playing with these guys for a while now. Whatever the game throws at me I’m able to adjust.”

This isn’t a brand new position for Gibson, who has performed underneath Thibodeau for three completely different franchises.

“Thibs has always had me in different situations,”Gibson mentioned. “He’s always prepared me for starting, coming off the bench. He didn’t want me to just be a guy floating. He always told me to have my head on a swivel.”

Prior to Friday’s preseason finale, Robinson, in the meantime, hadn’t performed in seven months due to a damaged foot. And though the Knicks denied any issues in Robinson’s prolonged restoration, Gibson acknowledged Sunday that his teammate suffered a setback sooner or later.

Robinson was sturdy in his 27 minutes of preseason however was additionally fatigued and didn’t look prepared for a heavy workload in a regular-season contest.

“He has to be out there taking contact on and doing that sort of thing,” Thibodeau mentioned. “And that’s going to take some time, but we really like where he is.”

Rookie Jericho Sims will be utilized at heart in a pinch and Thibodeau would possibly go small with a Obi Toppin-Julius Randle frontcourt combo. It was efficient within the Friday’s win over the Wizards and works to jolt the offense, however Thibodeau doesn’t prefer to sacrifice the rim safety of a standard heart.

“I think the rim protection is important, but sometimes, you have to inject more energy, speed,” Thibodeau mentioned. “So, it’s something that I think the way, Obi has grown, I think it will allow us to do that more.”

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