How Knicks is coping with COVID-ridden scheduling issues

BOSTON — The Knicks had six players in COVID-19 protocols — the last being rookie point guard Miles McBride — ahead of their 114-117 loss in Boston on Saturday. The Celtics moved to six players in COVID-19 protocols as the virus has rampaged through the league all week.

The league-wide spread has sparked speculation that the NBA needs to take a break before players get healthy. However, some believe that Commissioner Adam Silver prefers to wait until after the Christmas bonanza.

“I think you leave that to the experts in the league, the medical people,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game about the potential of a league break. “They know, they’re the ones who have the information. They are the experts at it. Then what we have to do is whoever we have, we have to be ready to go. I think the challenge for any team now is how quickly you can adapt. That has always been the nature of our competition. Things change very quickly. That’s the challenge we’re looking at.”

McBride, the star in Houston on Thursday, is the sixth Knick to be placed in COVID-19 protocols. Two of their broadcasters, Walt Frazier and Rebecca Haarlow, also contracted COVID-19 after their trip to Toronto eight days ago.

Miles McBride became the latest Knick to be added to the COVID-19 list.
Miles McBride became the latest Knick to be added to the COVID-19 list.
NBAE via Getty Images

Completing the roster with a signature “hardship exception,” the Knicks signed Tyler Hall – a six-foot-tall shooting guard who averaged 14.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists over 38 years. .5 minutes in 11 games in the G-League. Hall played on the summer league team after graduating from the state of Montana in 2019.

They miss McBride, Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox, and Derrick Rose was a decision during the match.

Thibodeau had no choice but to start point guard Kemba Walker, who was a DNP CD nine games in a row. When asked before the game if he would like to play the former Celtic, Thibodeau said: “Yup, yup, yup.”

Walker exploded for 29 points in the Knicks’ loss.

The six players with COVID-19 are the youngest players on their roster. Two were drafted this year, two last year, one in 2019 and the other in 2018.

All Knicks are vaccinated. According to one source, almost none of them have experienced any legitimate symptoms. Last season, the Knicks’ two COVID-19 cases had symptoms: Derrick Rose and Alec Burks.

McBride had his breakout game in Houston and now he could be out for ten days.

“I feel for all those guys,” said Thibodeau. “I said it last summer; with Miles and Quentin and Jericho [Sims], they were phenomenal and not only in the way they work, but also in practice. The way they approached each day, I knew how I felt that if given the chance, they would play well.”

The Knicks are subject to restrictions by the NBA. They couldn’t have team training in Boston on Friday or shootaround on Friday. The rules, said Thibodeau, state that only one player is allowed to shoot with one coach in the gym. Thibodeau had his morning walk in the Boston hotel ballroom—socially distancing—with no basketball hoops.

“The court is marked, but you are one and a half meters apart,” said Thibodeau. “All the things we have to do. So I think most teams are in that group now. It’s difficult [not being able to shoot]. You may shoot with one coach and one player. There’s nothing live. There is no group action. So it is all individual work.”

Thibodeau said a “next step” could be to throw hoops into these ballrooms. “We’re a little worried about the chandeliers,” Thibodeau burst out.


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