After scoring at least 24 points in three consecutive Knicks wins between November 6-12, forward RJ Barrett was forced to the sidelines for three games due to an ailment that doesn’t often show up on NBA injury reports. As Stefan Bondy of The New York Post writes, Barrett was dealing with a debilitating migraine, describing the experience as “not anything I’d wish on anybody.”
“A lot of stuff going on. It was my first [migraine] as well,” Barrett said. “So definitely wasn’t the best feeling at all. It was terrible, actually. I’m feeling better now, thank God.”
Barrett didn’t exactly pick up right where he left off on Saturday, according to Bondy, who notes that the 23-year-old looked “gassed” in the first half. However, he picked up his play in the second half — he finished with 15 points and was a plus-16 despite making just 5-of-15 shots from the floor.
“You can’t take that amount of time off and not feel it,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He was in a great rhythm, now we’ve got to get him back in that rhythm.”
- After sitting out the Knicks’ first 11 games this season, Evan Fournier got an opportunity to play on Friday in Washington and logged nearly 16 minutes. However, after that game he was diagnosed with ankle inflammation, an ailment that sidelined him on Saturday and mystified him because he had “no clue” how it happened, per Bondy. “It was frustrating because it hurts,” Fournier said. “There’s not much to say, to be honest. It sucks. That’s it.”
- Quentin Grimes has missed the Knicks’ past two games with a sprained wrist, but he’s already out of his brace and likely won’t miss more than one more game, a source tells Bondy. “It’s just a pain tolerance thing, so as soon as he’s comfortable enough, he’ll be out there,” Thibodeau said.
- In a separate story for The Post, Bondy takes a look at the four 2024 first-round picks the Knicks control, observing that picks from the Wizards (top-12 protected) and Pistons (top-18 protected) look increasingly unlikely to convey, given that the two clubs sit at the very bottom of the NBA’s standings. New York will likely only end up having its own first-rounder and Dallas’ pick (top-10 protected) in next year’s draft, Bondy adds.
- Julius Randle wasn’t able to do much of his usual work in the offseason while he recovered from ankle surgery, so it took him a little longer than usual to get going this fall. However, he has hit his stride lately, as Bondy writes for The Post. The veteran forward has averaged 24.3 points per game with a .455/.341/.708 shooting line in his last seven games after putting up 13.7 PPG on .271/.225/.618 shooting in his first six. “I feel better, more like myself,” Randle said. “I told you guys it would be a day-to-day process, me not being able to do much in the summer.”