The Knicks have made it through nine games this season without COVID-19 putting a wrench in their plans, but the pandemic is causing problems in other parts of the league.
The nuggets will be out on Sunday at the Garten after playing their last two games against the 76ers – who played with eight active players on Saturday based on health and safety protocols resulting from Seth Curry’s positive test – and against the Mavericks, who followed three players the other quarantined tested positive after Thursday’s game in Denver.
« We just have to do our part individually, » said Knicks Guard Austin Rivers on Saturday. « It’s difficult, however. It’s everywhere. Unfortunately, people in our country don’t always wear masks. They have shown ignorance every day, which makes this more delayed and more serious. … It’s frustrating to see people deal with this. » Stuff around. We only control what we control and we do our part. The Knicks did a great job keeping us in the know. «
The fight against the pandemic struck recently for Rivers, who said he I lost an old AAU trainer to COVID-19 on Friday. Rivers’ father, Doc, had to be content with an understaffed 76ers team on Saturday.
But with cases that crop up in the NBA – reportedly too Celtics star Jayson Tatum – Rivers believes the Knicks can gain an advantage by continuing to follow protocols knowing there is some luck involved with it.
« Number one skill is availability, » said Rivers. » If we do our job and stay available, we have a chance to win every night. It gives us an edge because you see that a lot of teams have star players – I saw Tatum go down with Boston today, so you can play against some of these teams that miss some of their guys, when we’re fully loaded it just is gives us another advantage. «
Sunday brings two former Knicks assistants together. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau and Nuggets coach Mike Malone were on the same staff from 2001 to 2004.
» I’ve known Mike since he was a child, « said Thibodeau « He comes from a great basketball family. Of course his dad [Brendan Malone] is a great coach of all time. Mike has been around for a long time, he did an amazing job in Denver. His teams have always played very well on both sides of the ball. » . He did a great job there. We know we have to do our best. «
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