Joakim Noah missed out on the Knicks’ Sunday afternoon win against the Atlanta Hawks with an illness. Apparently it wasn’t a 24-hour problem, because he missed Monday’s practice and is listed as doubtful for Tuesday night’s clash with the Portland Trail Blazers:
Update: Joakim Noah (illness) & Lance Thomas (feet/ankle) are doubtful for Portland game. Kyle O'Quinn will likely start in Noah's place.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 21, 2016
Kyle O’Quinn did a better job than any of us could have hoped for against Atlanta, anchoring a Knicks D that played with poise and intensity. Can he pull that trick off twice against the Blazers? Portland is a smaller, more mobile squad, so maybe this time we will see more of Kristaps Porzingis at the five. But who the hell knows, really ...
Noah may be out for the time being, but according to Ian Begley, he and Courtney Lee spoke extensively at the big Saturday meeting which helped motivate the team into triumphing the next day. Veteran leadership, y’all. Lee played one of his finest games of the season on Sunday, so he certainly backed up his talk.
And, of course, there was this money quote from Carmelo Anthony on Phil Jackson’s role in the meeting:
Meeting w/players, coaches & Phil lasted about an hour. Did Phil talk? "Nah, he actually just listened this time. Which is good," Melo said.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 20, 2016
This is at least part of the reason why you pay character veterans like Noah and Lee, to let them speak up when it is needed. Good job, Phil.
Now let’s keep up this momentum, guys!