It’s all coming up Knicks these days.
They’re playing their best basketball of the season, they’re healthy and Tom Thibodeau’s team will catch a major break Monday night to start out a massive week for them.
The surging Knicks will miss Celtics All-Star wing Jaylen Brown for the Garden showdown as they face Atlantic Division rivals Boston (twice), the Nets and Heat four times in the span of seven days.
Brown, averaging 26.5 points, seven rebounds and 3.2 assists, has been ruled out by Boston for personal reasons. In two games this year against the Knicks, Brown is averaging 26 points and seven rebounds. He’s been a critical part of the loaded Celtics posting a league-best 44-17 record. Boston is the lone team in the NBA with 20 road victories.
The Knicks have struggled this year against the loaded Atlantic Division, losing eight of 13 games. The next week will give them a chance to improve upon that mark.
The Knicks insist Derrick Rose still has an impact, even if he isn’t playing these days. The former MVP logged his first minutes in a game in garbage time of Saturday’s blowout of the Pelicans since Dec. 31. The crowd chanted for him to get in, and coach Tom Thibodeau obliged.
“For a guy who has accomplished what he has, he’s the most selfless person that you can be,” Julius Randle said. “He has no ego and I’ve learned [a lot] from him, honestly.”
Despite rumors of a potential buyout, Rose said he hasn’t discussed that possibility with anyone. His teammates don’t want him to go anywhere.
“I would argue that he’s having just as much if not more of an impact vocally as a leader for us,” Randle said. “He’s constantly talking to me, giving me advice. His impact is huge.”
After starting the year 12-14 at home, the Knicks have begun to hit their stride on the MSG floor. They have won four in a row and five of six in their own building.
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