|Rose returns to Knicks, could 76ers|
New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose, inexplicably absent from his team's home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night, returned to the Knicks' practice facility on Tuesday.
Still to be determined is whether he will play Wednesday when the Knicks (17-21) face the Philadelphia 76ers (10-25) on the road.
Rose did not show up for the 110-96 loss to the Pelicans, and did not inform his teammates or Knicks officials that he would be absent. Multiple media outlets reported that team officials were unable to reach him by phone, and ESPN.com, citing unnamed sources, reported that Knicks representatives grew so concerned they went looking for him at his apartment.
The same outlet later reported that he went to Chicago to deal with a family situation, and that he returned for Tuesday's practice and met with general manager Steve Mills. The team announced he was fined and Rose met with reporters, saying "it was a family issue when quizzed about his absence.
Rose, a three-time All-Star and the 2011 NBA MVP while playing for the Chicago Bulls, was acquired in an offseason trade. He is averaging 17.3 points and 4.5 assists per game, but Yahoo Sports reported that Rose has grown increasingly frustrated with his role. First-year coach Jeff Hornacek has benched him in the fourth quarter of the last two games in favor of undrafted rookie Ron Baker.
Overall, the Knicks have lost eight of nine. Veteran forward Carmelo Anthony is once again the team's leading scorer (21.9), but he was ejected in the third quarter of Monday's game for arguing with referee Danny Crawford.
Reserve forward Kyle O'Quinn was ejected soon after that for a flagrant 2 foul on New Orleans star Anthony Davis, who collected 40 points and 18 rebounds in the game.
The Sixers have won three of four, most recently beating the Brooklyn Nets 106-95 on Sunday to match their victory total for all of last season. Rookie center Joel Embiid led the way with 20 points, and afterward said he has high hopes for the season.
"We are seven or eight games out of the playoffs, so we have a chance," he told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We are learning. We are coming together. We are learning how to play with each other. We are just great now."
Philadelphia is 13th in the East, and 7 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot, but Embiid has established himself as the clear frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year award. He leads all first-year players, as well as his team, in scoring (19.4), rebounding (7.3) and blocked shots (2.4), while averaging just 25 minutes a game.
The team is restricting him to 28 minutes a night after Embiid, the third pick in the 2014 draft, missed two seasons following a pair of foot surgeries.
Sixers coach Brett Brown has struggled to find minutes for Embiid and two other highly drafted centers, Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor, but the last two games Brown has elected not to use Okafor at all.
Philadelphia signed rookie guard Chasson Randle to a 10-day contract on Tuesday. Randle, a Stanford product, averaged 21 points a game in 19 appearances for the Westchester Knicks of the NBA Development League. He began the season in the Czech Republic.