Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau announced his starting line-up ahead of Friday’s kick-off against the Pistons, and there were few surprises other than new signatory Alec Burks starting the gun range.
Thibodeau said Elfrid Payton would start in point guard, RJ Barrett in the small striker, Julius Randle in power forward and the new Signee Nerlens Noel in the middle.
During training camp, Thibodeau hinted that Noel had the upper hand over the starting center at Mitchell Robinson after the 26-year-old had a strong season in Oklahoma City.
Knicks rookie Obi Toppin will be off the bench as expected as there was limited time available due to the fact that there was no summer league. There was a thought that Kevin Knox would start with a little striker, but Burks, a solid perimeter shooter, got the nod.
Thibodeau said the line-up remains in flux as the Knicks have four preseason games ahead of their December opener. 23 in Indiana.
« Nothing is set in stone, » said Thibodeau. « We’ll look at different types over time. We are in rating mode to see which groups play best together. We’ll mix and match as the night progresses too. ”
Before the game, Detroit coach Dwane compared Casey Toppin to previous Knicks Draft Bust Kenny « Sky » Walker, but said he meant it as a compliment because both were « pogo sticks ». ’’ Walker was named No.. 5 in 1986, but never lived up to its design.
The pistons have top pin at no. 7 to take over point guard Killian Hayes. Casey said Knicks fans should be excited.
« He will have a long future in the NBA, » Casey said of Toppin. « He’s athletic and he’ll be as exciting to New York fans as he plays. ’’
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World News – USA – Knicks’ preseason starting grid surprises Alec Burks
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