MILWAUKEE — Now that he’s back, halfway Nerlens Noel has nary issues coming disconnected the seat for Mitchell Robinson and forsees the Knicks having “a Twin Towers’’ setup.
In the 2nd crippled of his comeback Friday, Noel was “phenomenal’’ successful Milwaukee connected Friday successful their 113-98 decision of the defending champions.
The boxscore doesn’t ever bespeak Noel’s antiaircraft worth, but helium gave them 25 minutes of grit and grind with six points, 13 rebounds and finishing a plus-22.
“That’s who helium is,’’ Thibodeau said. “We astir apt place each the different aspects of his defence due to the fact that we ever speech astir the rim protection, which is evidently elite, but his pick-and-roll defence is terrific, arsenic well. Just the mode helium tin alert each implicit the court, he’s got large length, and it gives your squad energy. And erstwhile you get into the unfastened level disconnected that stuff, that gets everyone feeling bully and casual buckets. It changes things.’’
There’s been 2 “Twin Towers’’ alignments successful Knicks past — successful the precocious 1970s erstwhile the Knicks had Bill Cartwright and Marvin Webster. And aboriginal successful the 1980s with Cartwright and a young Patrick Ewing.
Now it’s Robinson-Noel — 2 of the champion shotblockers successful the NBA.
“Me and Mitch bash akin things but we bash it antithetic ways,” Noel said. “So I bring what I bring — being assertive connected the pick-and-rolls, hedging retired and getting guys uncomfortable, arsenic good arsenic protecting the rim. Mitch brings what helium brings with his size and physicality.”
“Mitch did a large occupation holding it down,’’ Noel added. “We privation to get to the level of having 2 Twin Towers backmost and holding down the paint.’’
Noel missed the full preseason with genu and hamstring issues and past the season’s archetypal 7 regular-season games. While the Knicks listed his genu connected the wounded report, Noel again said it was much his hamstring.
In fact, erstwhile helium was astir to wage successful the preseason finale, helium reinjured the hamstring. Hence, helium was other cautious earlier helium came backmost for good.
“I’m precise focused connected having a large twelvemonth and giving my champion aforesaid to this team.’’ Noel said. “I didn’t privation to person immoderate setbacks. I wanted to beryllium 100% erstwhile I came back. I beryllium that to this squad and myself, and that’s what I did, and I’m feeling large now. Hit the crushed running.”
Knicks rookie PG Miles McBride has conscionable been a mop-up antheral successful garbage time, making 4 appearances, playing 4 minutes done 8 games. McBride got successful for the last 26 seconds Friday.
Meanwhile the Westchester Knicks staged their play opener Friday nighttime vs. Capital City. Thibodeau didn’t regularisation retired giving a crippled present and determination to McBride and rookie halfway Jericho Sims but believes it’s much important they are with the large club. Sims present is the fourth-string halfway with Noel backmost from injury.
“I similar them with us. When we person opportunities to get them playing clip [in the G League] we’ll effort to instrumentality vantage of that. I besides deliberation having substitutes successful signifier for immoderate of our guys is simply a important part. The worth has to beryllium what’s champion for us. We enactment a batch of clip successful our subordinate improvement truthful they enactment successful enactment before. I similar the thought of [G League] playing clip and I emotion the proximity of it, playing a crippled and besides get backmost and beryllium with us. We’ll spot however it unfolds but close present I request them to beryllium with us.’’