As starting-center-for-the-night Cole Aldrich spoke to a phalanx of media following the Knicks’ 116-92 rout of the Celtics, J.R. Smith shouted across the locker room, “Hey Cole Chandler.’’
Aldrich was thrust into the starting lineup because Tyson Chandler was dealing with a family illness and Amar’e Stoudemire was resting his knees.
The Knicks barely missed a beat, and Aldrich was awarded the game ball because of it.
In a stout performance, the former Kansas lottery pick was strong on the boards and finishing on the pick-and-roll and posted his third career double-double — 12 points, 10 rebounds, 4 of 5 from the field, 4 of 5 from the free-throw line.
“We gave him the game ball after the game,’’ coach Mike Woodson said. “All season long I’ve been preaching, we have so many different lineups based on injuries. Cole reminded me of last year’s team.
When a guy goes down another guys in line steps in and plugs right in, keeps it flowing.’’
With Aldrich making his first start as