Knicks’ Taj Gibson out for game opener against Celtics – .

Knicks’ Taj Gibson out for game opener against Celtics – .

As the Knicks’ season opened Wednesday at the Garden, they became even more insufficient at center as Taj Gibson had to miss the Celtics game for “personal reasons.”

“Good personal reasons,” added coach Tom Thibodeau.

With center Nerlens Noel also absent, this propelled Mitchell Robinson into the role of starting center and gave Thibodeau the opportunity to use active second-round rookie center Jericho Sims.

Thibodeau’s other option was to use a range of small balls that looked good in Obi Toppin’s preseason final at the little forward and Julius Randle moving to the center.

Sims, selected No.58 in the Texas Draft, has been a hit in the Summer League with his live-wire nature and rebound. He got off to a good start to the preseason but hasn’t played the last six quarters.

“The approach is so important, the preparation, you never know when we will call on you,” said Thibodeau. “We took Nerlens out and Jericho was able to get a few minutes and Mitch was out early on. We also had the opportunity to watch Obi and Julius together. We’ll see how it goes. We will see what are the clashes on the ground – big or small. “

Jericho Sims (# 45) could suddenly have a big part in the Knicks’ opener.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Thibodeau did not give a timeline for Gibson’s return. Robinson, who is recovering from a broken foot, only played the preseason final and recorded 27 minutes. Thibodeau said he was still being watched.

Taj Gibson (# 67) is out of the Knicks’ season opener for personal reasons.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Former Sims Texas head coach Shaka Smart told Post Sports + last week why The Sims fell.

“I think sometimes people overcomplicate the project,” said Smart. “Maybe they were looking for reasons not to write Jericho instead of reasons to write him. The Knicks really liked him throughout the pre-draft process. It was great for Jericho and great for the Knicks, he ended up there.


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