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NBA New York Team News: Nets Have Three Straight Games Postponed, Knicks Cruise Past Pistons, Noel Enters COVID Protocols

Brooklyn Nets Have A Third Straight Game Postponed

The Brooklyn Nets have now had three games postponed amid a major surge in the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Their Dec. 19 and Dec. 21 home games against the Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards, respectively, had been postponed. On Wednesday, the NBA also announced that they were postponing the team’s Thursday road game against the Portland Trail Blazers since the visitors don’t have the requirement of eight available players.

Brooklyn’s three All-Star players – Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving – are among the team’s 10 players currently in the COVID-19 health and safety protocol.

No makeup dates for either of those games have been announced.

Brooklyn’s next scheduled game is a marquee road showdown against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day (8:00 p.m. EST).

On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the league has told the 10 teams scheduled to play on Christmas Day “to be prepared for game times to shift as late as Dec. 24.”

 

For now, the five scheduled games are: Atlanta Hawks @ New York Knicks (12:00 p.m. EST), Boston Celtics @ Milwaukee Bucks (2:30 p.m. EST), Golden State Warriors @ Phoenix Suns (5:00 p.m. EST), Nets @ Lakers and Dallas Mavericks @ Utah Jazz (10:30 p.m. EST).

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Wojnarowski noted that the league’s priority is to fill the 2:30, 5:00 and 8 p.m. slots.

The Nets hold the best record in the Eastern Conference at 21-9, 1.5 games up on the Chicago Bulls (19-10) for the top seed. Steve Nash’s group also has a comfortable 5.5-game lead on the Philadelphia 76ers for first in the Atlantic Division. Brooklyn currently has the best NBA Championship odds. Nets fans who want to bet on their team can get a risk-free bet of up to $1,000 at Wynnbet New York.

New York Knicks Back In Win Column With Victory Over Detroit Pistons

The struggling New York Knicks made relatively easy work of the NBA’s worst team on Tuesday night, outlasting the Detroit Pistons 105-91 at Madison Square Garden.

The win moved the Knicks to 14-17 on the season, keeping them within a game of the final play-in berth entering play on Wednesday. With the loss, the Pistons fell to 5-25 on the season.

Tom Thibodeau’s group got excellent production from the starting five. Offseason pickup Evan Fournier led the way with 22 points, while Julius Randle and Kemba Walker each contributed 21 points. The latter two combined for 19 rebounds in the Knicks’ excellent defensive outing.

Center Mitchell Robinson tuned in his best performance of the season, racking up 17 points, 14 rebounds, one steal and three blocks.

The long-awaited home win marked the Knicks’ first victory at MSG since Nov. 23, when they defeated the Lakers 106-100. New York had lost each of its previous five home contests heading into Tuesday, but they kicked off the three-game homestand on a near-perfect note.

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The Knicks will look to make it two in a row when they host the surprising Washington Wizards on Thursday night (7:30 p.m. EST). As noted above, New York is also currently scheduled to host Atlanta on Christmas Day.

Nerlens Noel In COVID Protocols

New York center Nerlens Noel is now in the COVID-19 protocols, Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday afternoon.

Noel will be inactive for the Knicks’ home game against Washington on Thursday. The team also has R.J. Barrett, Quenton Grimes, Miles McBride, Kevin Knox, Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin in the league’s protocols.

The 27-year-old Noel has suited up for 17 games this season, his second with the Nets. He’s averaging 3.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest. Noel has missed time this season due to a knee injury.

The short-handed Knicks will need the likes of Walker and Robinson to step up, as they did on Monday night.

This is especially a prime opportunity for Walker to display his value. The 31-year-old admitted last week that he was unhappy about losing his job in the rotation, but the four-time All-Star point guard will have several chances to show Thibodeau and company that he belongs in the starting five.