Knicks Practice: Frank Ntilikina Probable, Marcus Morris Sr. Apologizes

Howard Megdal

GREENBURGH, NY — A newsy afternoon in Westchester, as Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. offered an apology (but took no questions on) his comments from Wednesday night that drew a fine from the NBA, and Knicks head coach Mike Miller outlined his contingency plans at point guard Saturday night.

The Knicks will be without Elfrid Payton, who was suspended for shoving Jae Crowder in the waning moments of Wednesday night' game. 

But Ntilikina, who missed the game with a groin injury, has been listed as probable by the team, and expressed optimism over playing Saturday night in Indiana.

"I hope so, I hope so," Ntilikina said. "I made a lot of improvement. Today, I'm feeling better the last couple of days. So we're going to see about tomorrow."

If Ntilikina doesn't go, or is limited, Miller said he has the option to go with Kadeem Allen, whose distribution numbers in Westchester are encouraging.

"We have the option with two-way player Kadeem, so we have that option as well," Miller said. 

Miller also offered an update on RJ Barrett, still out, but named Friday to the Rising Stars team.

"RJ's getting better, he's progressing," Miller said. "He's not to the point where he's practicing yet, but he's doing some workouts on his own. So the progression would be, hopefully we get to the point where he can practice next week, maybe. And that would put him on track where he'd be ready to play after he's ready to practice."

Then there was Morris, who offered a 53-second statement of contrition, though he did not take questions, saying "I don't really have a choice", seemingly about not answering questions, just prior to making it.

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"I apologize deeply," Morris said. "My comments were unnecessary. I really wasn't thinking while I was speaking. We have women referees, women coaches. I'm a huge supporter of the WNBA. I have a relationship with a few female players in the WNBA. And if I offended anyone, I deeply, deeply apologize."

Without further follow-up, it's impossible to know what, if any steps Morris has taken to make this right with any of the women in the organization or those WNBA players he knows. It's a missed opportunity, at least for now.

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