Monday marked the sixth game in a row that Kemba Walker was put on the sidelines of what the team has called a sore left knee. But Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said he is closer to returning.
Asked if it was healing or conditioning that kept him out for so long, Thibodeau said: “Probably a bit of both. Every day he does a little more. The most important thing was to let his knees calm down. It’s done. and now it ramps up again. That’s where he is. He’s close, though. “
Nerlens Noel was exposed for the 10th game in a row. Noel, who has only played 17 games this season, was put on the sidelines with the NBA’s health and safety protocols after the game on Dec. 21 and has been acquitted but remains out while working on his conditioning.
Ryan Arcidiacono, who was signed on a 10-day contract on Thursday, has yet to retire as he retrains after an ankle injury he sustained in the G League.
“He’s going through his little rehab,” Thibodeau said. “He’s moving pretty well too now.”
The Spurs were on the second half of a back-to-back set in New York and lost in overtime in Brooklyn on Sunday. The match ended with the Nets winning on a Cam Thomas bucket in the final seconds of overtime, and thus Spurs coach Gregg Popovich looked good and bad.
“It’s a mistake, and it’s not a mistake,” he said. “The best thing you can do at the end of the match is not to have Kevin Durant shoot the shot and it was achieved. So I’m excited about what they did. After that there was a closeout of another player , where we allowed the middle. It was a mistake. It’s a game of mistakes. That’s why the score is not 8-6. That kind of mistake you just hope happens less and less as the season goes on. The hard part of this season for everyone, especially the young teams, no drills, no shooting rounds. “