Derrick Rose discusses Knicks' playoff push: 'We're watching the standings'

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Danny Abriano
·3 min read
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Derrick Rose drives to the basket vs. Pistons blue uniform
Derrick Rose drives to the basket vs. Pistons blue uniform

With 21 games left in the regular season, the 25-26 Knicks are in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, which would put them in the play-in tournament before the playoffs.

The Knicks are just a half game out of the No. 6 spot and one game out of the No. 5 spot, and either spot would give them automatic entry into the playoffs.

But their remaining schedule is tough and putting the finishing touches on their improbable season with a playoff berth will be challenging.

On Wednesday, Derrick Rose discussed what lies ahead for New York.

"We’re comfortable but not that comfortable," Rose told reporters via Zoom. "A two or three game slip could end up getting (you) 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. But we’re watching the standings."

As far as how much of a voice he is in the locker room as the Knicks chase the postseason, Rose said he's picking his spots.

"Thibs, he’s going to do all the talking, so he’s making sure all the guys are aware what’s going on and give us very good details about what we have to do and preface every game," Rose explained. "So I let him worry about that. But whenever I feel like I have to voice my opinion or be vocal, like I said, I pick and choose when I have to do that. I don’t want them to seem like I’m here and BS or anything like that. I just want to win.

"I’ve been in a situation where it took us winning the last game and someone losing the last game when I was in Chicago. And then in Minnesota it took us winning the last game to get in the playoffs against Denver and you just don’t want to be in that situation. So we’ve got to go out here and make sure we take care of business, play as hard as we can and see if we can get as many wins as possible."

Rose noted that he hasn't paid much attention to the new play-in format that will be required for seeds seven through 10, but said the Knicks would want to avoid being in that position.

"I heard about it last year but didn’t pay too much attention to it," he 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."

THOUGHTS ON RJ

Rose gave some thoughts on RJ Barrett on Wednesday:

"I’ve been watching him ever since he was a kid, I remember the game that he had against Team USA when he was younger, scoring 40-something points. I’ve always been a fan of his even when he was at Duke. Coming here, got a chance to see his work ethic. His build, his frame, use his frame a little bit more.

"The only thing I tell him is to play his game but when he’s passing, don’t telegraph his passes because sometimes you can tell where he’s throwing the ball and sometimes he has to look guys off or at least give them a fake or something like that so he can make the right decision. Outside of that, he's knocking down the three ball. He’s passing very well, getting guys in the open and in their shooting slot. He’s doing exactly what we want him to do."