How many games do Noah and Rose each play this year?
Fisher-Cohen: Derrick Rose possesses just about all the predictors of a short career — terrible injury history; poor perimeter shooting; previous success predicated on athleticism. Similar players such as Marbury, Steve Francis, Baron Davis and Penny Hardaway all were basically bench caliber players by their late 20s if they were even still in the league. The only somewhat similar players who were able to extend their relevance are Dwyane Wade and Gary Payton, who unlike Rose were both excellent post players.
While, as his anemic free throw rate illustrates (lower than Galloway’s last season), Rose has reformed his game so as to protect his body, I’m not sure he can be an effective player again unless he starts playing a more risky style, and I’m not sure he can stay healthy if he does.
I’ll go with Rose playing it safe and having a largely healthy (for him) year — let’s say 70 games.
As for Noah, the injuries haven’t deterred him from throwing his body at opponents, and while that’s allowed him to remain an effective player even as his athleticism has faded, it hasn’t and won’t help him protect his aging body. I’ll say 60 games played for Noah.
From among the Knicks’ crew of players with awful injury histories, the player I have most hope for both in terms of health and productivity is Brandon Jennings due to his youth and his much lower impact style of play and build.
Kurylo: I fully believe the Knicks’ short term success is based on the health of Noah. Even if he’s not 100% healthy, he will be the catalyst for the Knicks defense, which was a lukewarm 18th last year. If Hornacek isn’t totally incompetent, Noah stays healthy, and Porzingis continues his development, New York could have a pretty good defense.
But how many games will Noah play? He’s been pretty consistent, although not in a positive way. Over the last 5 years, he missed 2 games twice, 15 games once, 16 games once, and 53 games last year. Looking at his entire career, it seems there’s about even odds he’ll miss just a handful of games or about 15-20 games. It’s a coin flip, and I’ll choose to be cautiously optimistic and split the difference – 74 games.
As for Rose, even if we ignore his mostly absent 2012-2014, over the last 2 years he’s missed an average of 23.5 games a year. It’s possible that he puts his health problems behind him and bounces back. So I think he suits up for 60, although the less we all see of Derrick Rose the better (for a number of reasons).
Plugh: I actually expect both guys to play most of the games. I expect their individual absences to be maintenance-related most of the time, with a short stretch of actual injury related DNPs each. Noah is older, which means he’s not going to be as durable as he was in his prime, but his two most recent injuries seem to be non-chronic in nature. I expect Noah to play in around 70 games, maybe 75, and I also expect Rose to play north of 70.
One of the reasons I expect Rose to play so many games is that he’s entering this year as healthy as he’s been at any time in the last 4-5 years. His preseason absence was legal in nature, and he seems to be in very good shape. The key to Rose playing most of the year is avoiding early wear and tear. Hornacek can make very good use of Brandon Jennings (who’s dealing with his own recent injury issues) and limit the minutes and back-to-backs Rose plays. If Rose makes it out of the All-Star break with a strong management of his health, there’s no reason to think he won’t finish the season out playing more minutes and more games. If he gets hurt at any point, they’ll be conservative bringing him back, which is my only hesitation in saying he’ll play much more than 70.