Derrick Rose made his first playoff start since 2015 – replacing Elfrid Payton – and scored a team-high 30 points in the Knicks’ 105-94 loss to the Hawks in Game 3 at Atlanta.
Rose, who said she was made aware of the change during Friday’s morning visit, became the first Knicks goalie to score 30 or more points in a playoff game since Stephon Marbury in 2004.
“The thing is, he’s been playing basically starting minutes for a while. The most important thing was to try to get a good start, especially on the road, ”said Tom Thibodeau, explaining the much-debated change. “But then we had a problem in the second quarter. So you have to take a look. “
Rose and Taj Gibson, Thibodeau’s other longtime lieutenant with Chicago and Minnesota, also entered the starting lineup after the veteran duo opened the second half and helped bring the Knicks back from a 13-point halftime deficit two nights earlier in their streak. evening victory of match 2 in the Garden,
Thibodeau moved all in and finally put Payton on the bench, his starting point guard, if only in name for several weeks.
Payton had started each of the previous 65 games he had appeared in this season, including the first two games of the series, but “starter” was never a dumber designation after playing just eight minutes and five minutes, respectively. , in the first two games of the series, and not at all in game 3.
During the game, Payton’s mother Danielle posted on her Twitter account (@ DannieP19) a retweet of the official tweet from the starting Knicks’ lineup with the response, “How it worked for you!” #Proud mom ”
Barely an hour before the roster changes were revealed, just before Friday’s announcement, Thibodeau had played shyly with the media, claiming he was “still undecided” and “still thinking” according to “Which gives us our best chance of winning. “
Rose finished 13 for 21 from the floor with five assists, making almost as many shots as Julius Randle, RJ Barrett and the rest of his Mason teammates combined (16 for 60).
Rose, the 32-year-old former NBA MVP, had scored 26 points, a record for the team, including two 3-point keys in the Game 2 second-half rally.
The Brooklyn-raised Gibson have been splitting their time with starter Nerlens Noel at center since Mitchell Robinson had foot surgery in March in his fourth game after also running out of time after hand surgery.
Noel was hampered by an ankle injury in the series opener, and he finished with just two points, five rebounds and no blocked shots in 17 minutes in Game 2. make 10 to finish with 12 points in 22 minutes on the bench.
“I thought we started the game well. It doesn’t matter who we have on the field, it’s who it is, ”Barrett said. “We have to go out there, trust each other and execute.”