Joakim Noah back in starting lineup after illness
Joakim Noah was hunched over at midcourt at halftime, looking gassed after missing the previous two games with an illness. “I was just tired, man,” he said. “It’s tough when, man, when you’re sick and then you have to go and play a basketball game after it — it’s no joke.”
Noah started and played an extremely active 18 minutes Friday night. He finished with six points and eight rebounds in the Knicks’ 113-111 overtime victory over Charlotte and said afterward that he felt good.
Asked what ailed him, Noah said, “I had some real [stuff], man. I was sick. Fever. I had the flu.”
Jeff Hornacek said the plan was to limit Noah’s minutes but that he never thought of resting him altogether and playing him more Saturday night when the Knicks complete the home-and-home in Charlotte.
“Whenever anyone comes off a sickness, you kind of expect they’re going to be a little bit sluggish that first game,” Hornacek said. “Once you get one game under your belt, you’re usually OK.”
The Knicks’ offense
Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said the Hornets’ focus defensively was on Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose in isolation plays along with pick-and-rolls involving Rose and Kristaps Porzingis and Rose and Anthony. But Clifford said the Knicks still are running some triangle.
“In what I’ve seen,” he said, “they’re still running components of the triangle and then they’re doing other things to help those guys play to their strengths.”
Rose enjoyed spending Thanksgiving with Anthony and his family and was surprised to see Dwyane Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, there. The Bulls played in Philadelphia on Friday, so Wade made the short trip to New York.
Rose had joked that he would bring only his appetite, but he showed up with “five or six bottles of wine . . . . More for his wife than anything or anybody. I look out for the women, man. That’s my job.”
He said the catered food was so good that he’s considering hiring Anthony’s chef.
“They had four different kinds of turkey,” Rose said. “He’s doing it right. Melo’s doing it right.”
High on Lee
Clifford said Charlotte wanted to re-sign Courtney Lee but didn’t have the money after re-upping with Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams. The Knicks gave Lee $48 million over four years.
“He’s a terrific player,” Clifford said. “He’s the ultimate dependable pro, intelligent player. He makes your team execute on every possession, offense and defense, the whole game. You’ll see his value as the games become more and more important; you’ll like him more and more.”