GREENBURGH, N.Y. — It seems likely that Kristaps Porzingis and Frank Ntilikina will be sidelined for the Knicks’ final preseason game against Washington on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Porzingis, who has a sore hip, practiced on a limited basis with the team Thursday. Ntilikina, who has a bruised right knee, missed his second straight day of practice but did shoot on his own for an extended period.
Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek did not rule out an appearance by either player but sounded as if he’s inclined to hold both out to ensure that they are ready to go for the regular-season opener on Oct. 19 at Oklahoma City.
“I don’t know if either of them plays at this point,” Hornacek said. “ . . . Well, I think when you start playing regular-season games, then you know the hope is guys know how to play when they’re a little sore as long as they’re not making it worse. I think in exhibition season, we’re a little more cautious.”
Noah odd man out for now
Joakim Noah, the Knicks’ highest-paid player, is increasingly looking as if he will be the odd big man out.
Noah, who will start the regular season on a 12-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy, did not practice Thursday because of an illness. In theory, he is still jockeying for minutes with Willy Hernangomez, Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn. In practice, the Knicks have to worry about the guys they have available now.
“We’ve got three bigs here and he’s not able to play the first 12 games . . . So we want those guys to really get the reps right now,” Hornacek said. “So even if [Noah] was healthy, I wouldn’t have played him [on Friday].”
The Knicks, like most NBA teams, are increasingly using analytics when it comes to team evaluation. Hornacek thinks that’s helpful but said they don’t always paint a complete picture.
“All those numbers, you’re out there with five guys. One guy’s numbers might not be great. But it might not be [solely his fault],” Hornacek said. “Analytics are good to look at and analyze things, but sometimes it can throw some confusion in there. I was an accounting major. You make the numbers look the way you want sometimes.”
Hornacek said the Knicks might pay close attention to points per play on pick-and-rolls this season. When he coached Phoenix, he said coaches knew that the Suns were second in points per play on pick-and-roll plays when they hit the roller, but they ranked only 29th in the frequency of actually hitting the roller.