Knicks big men Nerlens Noel, Taj Gibson out vs Magic

nerlens noel, new york knicks
Feb 27, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Nerlens Noel #3 of the New York Knicks reacts after he is called for a foul in the second quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks‘ centers Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson will not play against the Orlando Magic Friday night, coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters before tipoff.

Noel is still nursing a sore left knee, but Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said he’s close to returning. He has now missed six straight games dating back to the preseason.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Gibson, who became a father last Tuesday, made the trip to Orlando but will not play for the second straight game.

Thibodeau will likely start Mitchell Robinson, who had a monster season debut (11 points, 17 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks), at center with rookie Jericho Sims backing him up.

Against a very young Orlando team that will start Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter, Jr. in the paint, Thibodeau will have another chance to experiment with the small-ball lineup that was effective against the Boston Celtics.

The Knicks have outscored the Celtics by 12 points during the 16 minutes Julius Randle, and Obi Toppin played together.

Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic will be missing four players led by key players Markelle Fultz (knee) and Jonathan Isaac (knee), who are still recuperating from their injuries. Joining them in the sickbay are Chuma Okeke (hip) and Michael Carter-Williams (ankle).

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