The Knicks, surprisingly, also included Immanuel Quickley (sore left ankle) and Austin Rivers (personal reasons) to the injury report, meaning Frank Ntilikina will likely start against the Magic and be the only pure point guard available.
Ntilikina has gone scoreless in his last three appearances on the court, but could use this potential opportunity to get himself going again.
Mitchell Robinson was also listed as out, as he continues to recover and rehab from surgery on his fractured right hand. Nerlens Noel will continue to man the inside during his absence.
With all these extra minutes set to float around Thursday night, Tom Thibodeau may give rookie Obi Toppin some more minutes to try and build up a rhythm as well.
Toppin is averaging 12.3 minutes per game this season, but has seen those minutes slip to single digits in the last three games — but this is something he says he isn’t too worried about at this time in his career.
“My minutes going down did not discourage me at all,” Toppin said at Knicks shootaround ahead of Thursday’s game. “It’s just something that’s telling me I gotta push even harder every single day, get extra time in the gym and the weight room and just get better and learn every single day. There’s always opportunities to learn.”
With Thibodeau likely sliding guys down a bit when it comes to positioning against Orlando, Toppin could certainly see extra minutes at different spots.