The Knicks are like an ‘Instagram model’ according to one NBA Hall of Famer

NBA great Paul Pierce (New York Knicks)
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have exceeded the expectations of many over the course of the season, but with their recent slippage due to the mounting injuries, some are not convinced that the Knicks are serious contenders this year.

Former NBA player and Basketball Hall of Famer Paul Pierce is one of those who doesn’t see the vision with the Knicks. Speaking on his podcast with former teammate and fellow Basketball Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett, Pierce gave an interesting analogy to describe this current New York squad.

“The Knicks are like an Instagram model,” said Pierce. “I be on Instagram, and I be like, ‘Damn, she fine.’ Then you catch them in person and you’re like … ‘This you?’ It’s too many filters.”

The Knicks have hit a dry spell due to the injuries

The Knicks (36-26) currently hold the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, sitting a game and a half ahead of the eighth-seed Indiana Pacers and four games behind the third-seed Cleveland Cavaliers.

After going 14-2 in the month of January after acquiring forward OG Anunoby in a trade with the Toronto Raptors, the Knicks have gone just 5-9 since and dropped eight of their last 11 games, all while Anunoby and All-Star Julius Randle have missed over a month of time with injuries.

The widespread expectation is that when the two are able to make their returns, the Knicks will once again become a juggernaut, but the growing concern is that the rest of the team will experience fatigue as a result of the increased workload in light of the injuries.

Could certain guys see extended rest after Anunoby and Randle return?

Miles McBride has played a total of 93 minutes over the last two games, and Josh Hart is averaging 43.4 minutes per game over his past seven starts. With the Knicks increasing their depth at the trade deadline by acquiring Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic, the team might give longer rest periods for guys like Hart, McBride, and Precious Achiuwa to prevent any fatigue from lingering into the playoffs.

Anunoby and Randle are close to returning

The Knicks received a positive update on Anunoby early Thursday, with The Athletic’s Fred Katz reporting that head coach Tom Thibodeau said the forward is going through contact drills and taking part in five-on-five scrimmages, adding that he is now considered day-to-day.

New York Daily News’ Kristian Winfield said that Randle has progressed to “light contact”, though appears to be behind Anunoby in terms of returning to game action.

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