After sitting on the bench for over a month, New York Knicks shooting guard Evan Fournier was finally given an opportunity to play in a meaningful game on Thursday against the Spurs with the mounting injuries to the roster.
Fournier was the Knicks’ third-leading scorer on Thursday, dropping in 11 points and shooting 1-3 from outside the arc in approximately 17 minutes of action.
Although the scoring provided a small spark, the defensive woes for Fournier continued, and the Knicks ended up losing their fifth game in a row and have dropped back to .500 on the season.
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Despite the loss, Fournier was happy to play
Fournier was given the opportunity to play for the first time since November 13 due to the injuries from Jalen Brunson (hip), RJ Barrett (lacerated finger), and Obi Toppin (knee).
It is undoubtedly difficult to return to live game action spontaneously after previously getting zero minutes of court time for as long as Fournier did. Teammate Julius Randle praised Fournier for his efforts, given the circumstances after Thursday’s loss.
“He was great, I thought. He came in and played within himself. Obviously it’s tough to have a rhythm when you haven’t played that long. He competed, made timely shots, so he was great”.Julius Randle on Evan Fournier’s performance on Thursday
Fournier himself was pleased that head coach Tom Thibodeau gave him the opportunity and also acknowledged how difficult it was for him personally to only be able to watch the rest of the team play.
“It was a lot easier to play than to actually sit on the bench and watch the guys play”.Evan Fournier
Most likely, Fournier will re-exit the rotation when at least Brunson or Barrett return from their respective injuries. The Knicks have been shopping Fournier since his initial removal from the rotation, and the expectation is that he will be in a different uniform after the trade deadline.
For now, it was a refreshing moment for Fournier to get a taste of action after being away from it for so long.
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