If the Knicks’ injury list wasn’t already concerning enough, it got a whole lot more worrisome in the fourth quarter of New York’s 123-113 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden.
With 5:13 left in the game and on a night in which he scored 27 points, star point guard Jalen Brunson suffered an ankle injury while driving to the hoop against Memphis’ GG Jackson.
While a foul was called on Jackson, the injury appeared to occur when Brunson was planting his right foot in the paint — it slid out from under him and twisted in the process.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau, who is already without star forward Julius Randle due to a dislocated shoulder and OG Anunoby due to elbow inflammation, did not provide an update following the game on Tuesday night, but his teammates did not appear all that concerned.
Center Isaiah Hartenstein speculated that it looked like a sprained ankle while guard Donte DiVincenzo, who continued to step up in a big way with 32 points in the victory, eased any sort of initial unease.
“Playing with him for so long, and knowing him, I said ‘are you good?’ and he said ‘I’m good,‘” DiVincenzo, Brunson’s teammate in college at Villanova, said. “I don’t worry about Jalen at all.”
By that reaction alone, it appears as though the Knicks have dodged a sizable bullet. Brunson has been the team’s most valuable player this season, averaging 27.2 points and 6.5 assists per game in a career year.
He’s been especially brilliant over his last 16 games, averaging 30.7 points and 7.1 assists per game — a span that has come during the bulk of the Knicks’ torrid run in which they’ve won 16 of their last 19 games.
After Randle dislocated his shoulder against the Miami Heat on Jan. 27, Brunson has averaged 32.8 points per game, including a 40 piece on Feb. 1 in a comeback win over the Indiana Pacers.