February 20, 2021 | 12: 28am
The Knicks feel fortunate to hang made it 30 video games into the NBA season earlier than having one postponed on account of COVID-19 protocols.
Saturday’s scheduled house game in opposition to San Antonio grew to turn out to be the Knicks’ first contest to be pushed again when four Spurs avid gamers examined sure earlier this week.
“Fortuitously, we’ve magnificent been lucky,” Knicks guard RJ Barrett talked about on a Zoom call Friday after practice. “We’ve been doing the magnificent issues. Now we hang a gigantic workers, gigantic scientific crew. Clearly, magnificent praying and hoping that we continue to protect esteem this.
“In phrases of the game [Saturday], it affords us an additional day of prep for Minnesota.”
Certainly, the Knicks (14-16) can hang had three days off — since Wednesday’s clunker in Orlando halted their three-game worthwhile toddle — earlier than facing the NBA-worst Timberwolves on Sunday evening at the Garden.
Sunday’s game could be the major of 4 straight at house for the Knicks. Barrett added it’s “very inviting” that a little quantity of followers will be returning to the Garden — for the major time for the reason that pandemic shutdown more than 11 months ago — starting Tuesday evening in opposition to the Warriors.
“I wager that is unquestionably a part of the time table we’ve been taking a uncover about forward to,” Julius Randle talked about. “We’ve been lucky to now not hang any postponements. … No longer now not up to it’s a house game, so it’s now not esteem now we hang got to exit and creep. We’ve been one of many lucky teams, useless to utter.”
Tom Thibodeau credited the Knicks’ scientific workers and the avid gamers adhering to the protocols for mostly keeping off any slipups in terms of the league’s properly being and security requirements. Finest guard Frank Ntilikina has overlooked any time on account of contact-tracing disorders, and he has now not examined sure for the virus.
“You’re continuously concerned on account of the vogue it spreads. It spreads mercurial, so the safety piece of it is serious,” Thibodeau talked about Friday. “As I’ve talked about repeatedly, Dr. [Lisa] Callahan and [head trainer] Roger Hinds and [the medical staff] hang executed a ideal-making an are attempting job with reminding us of the overall protocols which are mandatory for us to play.
“But you silent are aware about it magnificent takes one. Now we were fortunate. You look at the league and the volume of video games which were overlooked, in an effort to play as many as we’ve played. It’s correct planning on the league’s piece, inserting the overall protocols in space. So we’ve been fortunate and optimistically we’ll continue to be fortunate.”
Largely keeping off COVID-19 disorders has been among the many keys for the Knicks exceeding out of doorways expectations to this point. They entered Friday’s action in seventh space within the Jap Convention playoff picture.
Randle is a solid candidate to be named as a reserve for the All-Celebrity Sport. He’s averaging profession bests in points (23.2), rebounds (10.9), assists (5.5) and minutes played (36.7).
“I don’t know whose expectations we’ve exceeded, I wager I’ll slither away that up to you guys,” Randle joked with newshounds. “We feel esteem we are in a position to construct up seriously better as a crew on every aspect of the ball. I feel esteem I will be seriously better as a person. So we magnificent hang to bag improving, coming in each day with the magnificent mindset, getting better, taking our craft seriously and slither from there.”