Joakim Noah to sit vs. Houston Rockets; Derrick Rose will start

Fran Blinebury

The New York Knicks will be waiting a while to get their new big three combination on the court.

Center Joakim Noah will sit out Tuesday night’s preseason opener against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center (8 ET, ESPN) after suffering a hamstring in on the last day of training camp.

“It’s tough,” Noah said prior to the team shootaround. “I want to be out there. I want to play. But at the same time I just have to be smart. It’s a hamstring. It’s preseason. I just want to be right when it counts.”

Noah, 31, played just 29 games last season with the Bulls before a dislocated left shoulder ended his season and required surgery.

“Last play. Last fast break of training camp,” Noah said. “It happened. I haven’t played in a long time and I just worked real hard and it just happened.

“You can’t get frustrated. Trust the process and I’ll be alright.”

Derrick Rose will start against the Rockets, then leave the team and fly to Los Angeles, where jury selection has begun for the point guard’s $21.5 million civil sex-assault trial in federal court.

“I really don’t have a feeling about the jury selection,” Rose said. “All I can do is just pray about it. Like I said before, I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. If I go up there and just tell my side of the story, I think I’ll be alright.

It’s a blessing (to play). All this is out of my control. I can only focus on what I have ahead of me. I’m here, so it’s just the game.

“Of course, just being around my teammates and people that all have the same goals as what we’re trying to achieve (can) distract me from everything.

“I really don’t know what to expect. I know it’s a good feeling. I know we’re all anxious to be here. Going out there and playing, we don’t know what to expect. We just gonna play hard like we been doing in training camp, push each other and compete.”

Fran Blinebury has covered the NBA since 1977. You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.

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