The New York Knicks have a difficult matchup against Indiana Pacers on Saturday evening after losing to them in the season opener last week.
The Knicks are coming off at a tough loss to the Toronto Raptors, who hadnâ€™t won a game leading up to the contest. They held New York to just 83 points, but a number of injuries have held head coach Tom Thibodeauâ€˜s team back in recent days. They did bounce back from losing the first two games of the season to overcome the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers, both being impressive victories.
However, rookies Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin have both missed the last two games, and without them, the team lacks significant depth. Luckily, Julius Randle has stepped up to the occasion and dominated in their absence, averaging 23 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game.
Randle has been an absolute stud, opening up the floor and passing the ball efficiently, which is what Thibodeau wants his team to do when they force defenses to collapse. Driving them in, drawing double teams, and kicking the ball out to open shooters is how you create points in the modern-day NBA, and considering how simple it seems, it is surprising the Knicks are just figuring out how to accomplish this goal.
With injuries continuing to mount, the Knicks are hoping they can gain back at least one young player to add against Indiana.
New York Knicks injury update:
Injury Report 1/2 at IND: Probable: Knox II (sore left knee, bruised right hand); Questionable: Burks (sprained left ankle) and Quickley (sore left hip); Out: Ntilikina (sprained right knee), Smith Jr (contused left quad), Spellman (sore right knee) & Toppin (strained right calf)
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) January 1, 2021
Quickley is listed as â€œquestionableâ€ with a sore left hip, so thereâ€™s about a 50/50 chance he makes an appearance against the Pacers. If I were a betting man, I would say he needs about one more game of rest before making his way back to the team. Being safe with injuries early on and careers is essential, but the Knicks know what Quickley brings to their team as a potential solution at point guard.
They also recently gained back Austin Rivers, who could be a stopgap solution as well as Thibodeau figures out the starting five. He has been utilizing a frequent rotation to test different combinations out, but they havenâ€™t found the perfect match just yet. An extremely short off-season didnâ€™t give them much time to work out the chemistry and combination issues they are currently facing. Luckily, it is a long season, and Thibs will eventually find the five players he feels can put the Knicks in a position to win.