According to Peter Botte of The New York Post, injuries have allowed Derrick Rose and Evan Fournier the opportunity to play again after spending a significant amount of time outside the Knicks’ rotation. The duties of Fournier and Rose were resumed on Saturday as Jalen Brunson missed his third straight game due to a stiff hip and RJ Barrett missed his second game due to a lacerated finger he sustained on Tuesday.
After a 23-game hiatus, Fournier returned to the court on Thursday, and coach Tom Thibodeau referred to him as “a great pro.” On Saturday, Thibodeau cited Fournier and Rose as role models for upcoming guards Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes.
They must experience things, according to Thibodeau, who believes that learning is mostly the result of trial and error. There will be some hiccups; how will you handle them all? And then there will be occasions when you realize that this league is like a roller coaster. There can be moments when everything is going well, but then all of a sudden, it might turn on you and start going the other way. Additionally, you must be able to manage both. Therefore, I believe that having the right veterans around those young men is crucial.
Additional information from the Atlantic Division:
Tyrese Maxey of the Sixers did not play on Saturday despite playing 19 minutes on Friday night after recovering from a fractured foot. According to Andrew Lopez of ESPN, Coach Doc Rivers intends to keep an eye on Maxey’s playing time for a long.
Doc Rivers says Maxey won’t start or play a lot of minutes. Didn’t give a clear number on minutes, but said team will watch him. https://t.co/fO9CK2bl7b
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) December 31, 2022
In Friday’s victory over Phoenix, the Raptors met a challenge from coach Nick Nurse, according to Michael Grange of SportsNet. With five straight losses, Toronto had lost its play-in position, and Nurse deemed the most recent performance “unacceptable.” Prior to playing the Suns, the players watched a 20-minute film session during which Nurse emphasized areas that needed work. It’s extremely easy, basic things that we need to improve on, said Nurse. “… It’s unlikely that I’ll say something as delicate as, “It was simply a one-night thing.” They will see the good, the bad, and the ugly in me. I’ll demonstrate to them that I’m not going to back down from any of that. I’ll demonstrate to them what they should do better. I don’t think there is any other way I can teach them.
According to Brian Lewis of The New York Post, Nic Claxton has provided the Nets a defensive anchor in the middle, and coach Jacque Vaughn thinks he’s playing the greatest basketball of his career during the team’s 11-game winning streak.