The Knicks now go from one streaking team to another.
Twenty-four hours after the Phoenix Suns beat the Knicks for their 15th victory in a row, the Knicks will play in Atlanta on Saturday night against a Hawks team that has won seven straight.
"Sometimes the schedule is in your favor, sometimes it’s not," Tom Thibodeau said. "Every night there could be an excuse. You don’t want to do that. You want to be ready to go."
It is the first time the teams have played since the Hawks beat the Knicks, 4-1, in the first round of last season’s playoffs. Julius Randle, who struggled in that series, said there is no extra motivation just because the Hawks are the team that took them out last season.
"No, it’s just another game," he said. "Another game on the schedule of 82."
Rookie Quentin Grimes played in his third straight game Friday night against the Suns.
Grimes got some rare quality time in the Knicks’ win over the Lakers on Tuesday and was a plus-6 when he was on the floor. Thibodeau was impressed enough with what he saw that he gave him 17 minutes Friday night.
Grimes had three points and four rebounds and shot 1-for-6, including 1-for-5 on three-pointers.
"He played well," Thibodeau said of the Lakers game. "He did a good job. I was very pleased with his minutes. His ability to function within a team concept. He understands when to shoot and when to pass, and that’s a big part of winning. When you have a rookie thrown in that situation that can do that, it speaks a lot about who he is as a person in terms of his preparation and understanding what his role is."
Kemba might rest
Starting point guard Kemba Walker said after Friday’s loss that he didn’t know if he will play Saturday in Atlanta. In the previous two back-to-backs, Walker rested in one of the two games . . . Backup point guard Derrick Rose missed his second straight game with an ankle injury. His status for Saturday is unknown.