The New York Knicks dodged a curveball as Jalen Brunson’s X-ray result returned negative.
Brunson’s return remains unknown, but New York coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters before they faced the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday that his starting point guard “is feeling a little better.”
Brunson missed his seventh game of the season but there’s optimism that he’ll be back sooner than later.
“When he’s healthy enough, he goes,” Thibodeau said. “So just do the rehab, talk to the medical people, and when he gets cleared, he’s cleared, and then he’ll play.”
The Knicks are 6-6 without Brunson entering Saturday and they would need a collective effort from the rest of the team to fill his big shoes.
Brunson’s star turn is one of the major reasons why the Knicks have catapulted to the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. In his first season with the Knicks, Brunson is averaging 23.8 points and 6.1 assists in 34.9 minutes per game, all career highs, with a 49/41/83 shooting split.
His absence now threatens their outright playoff spot.
After the Clippers, the Knicks have two more games on this road trip — Lakers on Sunday and Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
Julius Randle thinks the team will be fine without Brunson. For that to happen, Immanuel Quickley has to step up as he did in Boston last Sunday.
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