The Toronto Raptors and Nets played the first two regular-season games in London two years ago, and Novak acknowledged it was a little "weird" to go so far to play only once. But the Knicks certainly weren't complaining, with Anthony saying there was "no better time than right now" for the light workload.
"With our team, we could use some of these days because it's been every other day, or you might have a day, and then you've got another game, so I mean we've been kind of going at it a little bit," coach Mike Woodson said.
Starting point guard Raymond Felton is in the midst of an expected four-to-six week loss with a broken finger. Veterans Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby are battling foot injuries that have weakened the frontcourt, and 39-year-old Jason Kidd has shown the strain of playing heavier minutes in Felton's absence.
All of them can take it easy with just game and at most two practices, and help could be on the way if guard Iman Shumpert does make his season debut after being out since tearing a knee ligament in last year's playoffs.
Woodson said the players might have a bit of time off to enjoy the sights, but NBA activities would mostly keep them busy. The Knicks wanted to make sure they stayed sharp with the next game back home Monday against Brooklyn, their city rival who is charging up behind them in the standings.
"I've been there for almost a month, two and a half weeks, this past summer, so to go back, just playing one game, definitely going to bring a lot of memories," Anthony said. "But this is still regular season for us, so that's how we've got to approach it."