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Derrick Rose seeking post-COVID groove as play-in cloud hovers over Knicks

April 7, 2021 | 1:48pm | Updated April 7, 2021 | 1:48pm Derrick Rose is trying to peak for the playoffs. If there is one to peak for. Since his return from a severe case of COVID-19, then getting interrupted by an ankle sprain, Rose has been up and down as the backup to point…

April 7, 2021 | 1: 48pm | Updated April 7, 2021 | 1: 48pm

Derrick Rose is hoping to summit to the playoffs. If there is one to peak for.

Since his return from a serious case of COVID-19, subsequently becoming disrupted by an ankle sprain, Rose was down and up since the backup to point guard Elfrid Payton.

In his five games post-COVID-19, Rose is shooting 37.9 percent) He had a 16-point first half in Brooklyn Monday, then went scoreless in the second half.

“Having COVID, coming back in, missing the game, just trying to get my rhythm, trying to get my timing down, trying to get my wind, but that’s going to come,” Rose stated before the Knicks faced the Celtics in Boston on Wednesday. “I’m trying to use these last 20-something games to prep myself for a playoff series. It’s going to take some time but it’s going day by day, practice by practice, and in the game, quarter by quarter. I had a pretty good half last game and now the goal is to have two legit halves and just play as hard as I can so I can build up my wind.”

The Knicks have lost four of five matches. Their reduction in Brooklyn on Monday started their closing 22-game stretch that’s rated second-toughest in the East.

Since staff president Leon Rose made no upgrades at the March 25 trade deadline, they’ll need Rose for a large factor to revive an offense that’s been in the bottom of the NBA in scoring plus else they will almost assuredly be in the dreaded play-in tournament.

The NBA has a new and bizarre play-in championship that has baffled a few gamers. Ten teams in each conference can play a minumum of one game after the regular season ends in May.

Rose was unaware of the arrangement but understands it is best to avoid it. To accomplish this, the Knicks would need to finish in sixth place and they’re scot-free — at the playoffs — breakers of the playoff drought.

Knicks Derrick Rose
Knicks guard Derrick Rose goes for a layup against the Nets on April 5, 2021.
Corey Sipkin

If they complete between seventh and 10set up place, then all bets are off. If the season ended today, the Knicks and Celtics, ironically, would be enjoying each other in the play-in championship at the No. 7 vs. No. 8 seed contest. (The clubs are tied for seventh at 25-26).

“I really don’t know the rules of it,” Rose stated. “What is it? How many games do you have to play?”

When told about the complex format of this 7 vs. 8 failure facing the winner of this 9 vs. 10 matchup for the rights to be in the actual playoffs, Rose said he want to avoid it altogether.

“I heard about it last year but didn’t pay too much attention to it,” Rose said. “We weren’t in the playoffs and I don’t watch basketball like that. If we’re there, we have to play those games. But we want to avoid that and just try to win as many games as possible. So we don’t have to worry about that. That’s our ideal choice if we can pick it.”

The Knicks’ playoff drought will move to eight years if they don’t make it past the play-in round. They’d be back in the lottery again. Only a sixth-place finish will assure them a berth.

“We’re comfortable but not that comfy,” Rose said of the Knicks’ standing. “A two or three game slip could end up getting out of the playoffs. We’re cautious about that, what we have to do, the urgency that we have to play with every night and just try to play our game, play with a faster pace and just play together and we’ll find ourselves there. Bu we’re watching the standings.”

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