Joakim Noah Active for 1st Time This Season for Knicks vs. Blazers

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2017

New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) reacts during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Wizards won 104-100. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

New York Knicks center Joakim Noah will be active for the first time in the 2017-18 season on Monday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.com.

Noah was serving a 20-game suspension he received in March 2017 for using a banned substance, and the ban extended into the first 12 games of this season. After his suspension was up, however, he remained on the inactive list for the past two weeks.

Head coach Jeff Hornacek noted the issue was a lack of potential playing time for the veteran.

"With the amount of centers, we can’t even really find a lot of minutes for Willy [Hernangomez]," he said earlier this month, per Al Iannazzone of Newsday. "We’ll just have to play it by ear and see where it goes."

An illness was then enough for Noah to not travel with the team over New York's two-game road trip that ended in Houston on Saturday, per Iannazzone.

With Enes Kanter out Monday because of back spasms, per Begley, there was a spot on the roster for Noah. Depth in the frontcourt is also useful with Kristaps Porzingis dealing with his own back injury.

Noah has been nothing short of a bust with the Knicks since signing a four-year deal worth $72 million before last season. He appeared in 46 games last year, averaging just 5.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

While the 32-year-old was once the league's Defensive Player of the Year and is a two-time All-Star, the team shouldn't expect much from a player who has appeared in just 75 games since the start of the 2015-16 season.

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