With nothing left to play for — the Knicks have locked up the second seed in the East and will face the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs starting this weekend — some key players are going to get rest.
Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin will all be out for the Knicks, reports ESPNNewYork.com. None of this is really a surprise and it’s the right thing to do heading into the postseason.
Because the Knicks don’t want to incur the wrath of David Stern Anthony is officially out with a sore left knee. But this is about getting rest.
While both will be ready to go come the playoffs, both Chandler and Martin are legitimately injured. Chandler has been out the last five games and 15 of 19 because of a bulging disk in his neck. Martin has a sprained left ankle and has been out three games.
You could see some Rasheed Wallace for the Knicks, but you’re going to see a lot of reserves against Charlotte, the team with the worst overall record in the NBA.
Take comfort, chairs and staffers.
The 76ers have raised Joel Embiid‘s minute limit from 24 to 28.
Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly:
This was never a hard limit. Embiid played more than 24 minutes in five of his 12 games with a high of 27 in an overtime contest. Presumably, the new “limit” will also allow for Embiid to sometimes it.
Embiid’s numbers per 36 minutes are eye-popping: 28.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.8 blocks and 6.4 turnovers. A small workload likely factors into his per-minute dominance, and he’s still a long way from typical starter minutes. But I’m interested to see how his production translates over a larger sample.
The 76ers, in their mission to be less bad this season, will also appreciate a few more minutes of Embiid. They defend like the NBA’s second-best defense with him on the floor and the league’s second-worst defense without him. They also score a little better with him. Overall, they get outscored by just 2.2 points per 100 possessions with him and a whopping 14.2 points per 100 possessions without him.
This could give Philadelphia a couple extra wins over the rest of the season. At minimum, it’ll make the 76ers more enjoyable to watch for a few more minutes each game.
Opponents shoot just 41.8% at the rim with Rudy Gobert defending it – which is now second to Hassan Whiteside among the 50 players who defend the most shots at the rim per game.
But James Johnson went up with no fear, scoring two of his 24 points in the Heat’s 111-110 win over the Jazz last night.
The Hornets didn’t just beat the Mavericks, 97-87, last night.
Nicolas Batum got Charlotte style points with this pass through Dwight Powell‘s legs, assisting Cody Zeller.
To be fair, Malcolm Brogdon was already off-balance before Rondae Hollis-Jefferson began his crossover.
To be real, DID YOU SEE BROGDON FALL OVER?