Injury Report for 1/3 at Phoenix: Questionable: Payton (personal reasons) and Smith Jr (strained left oblique).— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) January 2, 2020
Payton may sit out due to personal reasons, while Smith has been dealing with an oblique strain that has caused him to miss the past three games. The Knicks are carrying a rare three-game winning streak into Friday’s game vs. the Suns. Payton has been a presence in the starting lineup since Mike Miller took over for David Fizdale as interim coach. The PG has at least eight assists in six of the past eight games.
If both Payton and DSJ sit, Frank Ntilikina would likely start in place of Payton. We could also see Damyean Dotson and Reggie Bullock pick up additional minutes off the bench at guard. Ntilikina would be a solid value play if Payton is ruled out. He played 23 minutes in the win over the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night, scoring nine points with 10 assists.