The New York Knicks took on the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday evening without veteran point guard Derrick Rose. Rose has been phenomenal this season for New York after being acquired from the Detroit Pistons.
In the final year of a two-year, $15 million deal, the Knicks might want to consider retaining Rose for another season or two based on his production. He is averaging 15.1 points, 4.3 assists, and 2.9 total rebounds this season for New York. At 32 years old, he is shooting .487 from the field and .409 from three-point, the highest percentage in his entire career. Rose is not a traditional three-point shooter, but his sample size is adequate, taking 2.7 attempts per game, showcasing elevated confidence.
However, the Knicks elected to rest Rose against San Antonio due to a sprained left ankle, but it doesnâ€™t seem to be too serious.
â€œHe tweaked it in the Laker game,â€™â€™ Tom Thibodeau said. â€œHe did some stuff pregame. And we just felt it was better not to play him today and see where he is [Friday].â€™â€™
It seems as if the Knicks just wanted to give him a day off to rest, as they clearly were able to secure the win with the return of Immanuel Quickley and Alec Burks. Burks was phenomenal in the victory, scoring 30 points and recording 10 rebounds, shooting over 50% from the field. Without his influence, the Knicks surely wouldâ€™ve fallen ill to the Spurs, but he supplemented the loss of Rose adequately.
â€œJust needed a day,â€™â€™ Thibodeau said after his team secured a victory over San Antonio on Thursday. â€œWe knew we were getting a couple of guys [Immanuel Quickley, Alec Burks] back so we thought it would be good to give him the rest.â€™â€™
The Knicks currently sit in the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference but have secured a playoff spot. They do still have an opportunity to move up in the rankings, as they are only .5 games back from Atlanta and tied with Miami Heat at eight games back apiece. If Miami falls in one contest and the Knicks went out, they can move up to the 5th seed, and even the 4th sees if Atlanta loses.
Ideally, the Knicks would gain home-field advantage for the first round of the postseason, as they proved to be a strong home team during their surprising winning streak a few weeks ago. Nonetheless, Derrick Rose will play an immense part in the squad’s hopeful postseason success. The team is relatively healthy despite battling a few bumps and bruises.