Knicks Notes: Robinson, Anunoby, Randle, Brunson, Hart, More

Knicks center Mitchell Robinson appears to be nearing a return from the ankle injury that has sidelined him since early December, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Head coach Tom Thibodeau spoke to reporters before Monday’s victory over Denver and provided a positive update on Robinson’s progress.

“Mitchell is moving quite well,” Thibodeau said. “He’s cleared for contact and all that. He’s going through practices and so just needs a little more time. But he’s doing really well overall.”

Forward OG Anunoby participated in parts of Monday’s shootaround, while Julius Randle (shoulder) continues to do controlled contact work but has yet to be cleared for live contact drills. Given that the reports on Anunoby and Randle were more mixed than the one on Robinson, a reporter asked Thibodeau if the center will be the first of the three players to return.

“Assuming your assumption is correct, yes,” Thibodeau cryptically replied.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Jalen Brunson has now played in 65 games this season, ensuring that he’ll be eligible for end-of-season awards such as All-NBA. As Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets, Brunson can’t qualify for a super-max contract since he signed with the Knicks as a free agent, but he’ll be eligible this July to sign an extension that could be worth up to $156.5MM over four years.
  • As effective as Josh Hart has been for the Knicks this season, he has become an unreliable three-point shooter, making only 30.4% of his long-distance attempts this season after hitting 35.0% in his first six NBA seasons. According to Peter Botte of The New York Post, Hart and his former Pelicans teammate JJ Redick have already made plans to work this offseason on Hart’s outside shot. “At some point in the summer I’ll pull up to the Hamptons,” the Knicks wing said on Monday. “Shoot, get in the gym with him. Drink wine with him. He can bring all the wine. Because he’s rich. And just enjoy.”
  • Evan Fournier previously shared the Knicks’ franchise record for three-pointers in a game with 10, but saw that record erased on Monday when Donte DiVincenzo knocked down 11 treys against his Pistons. With 234 three-pointers in 2023/24, DiVincenzo is also poised to break Fournier’s record of 241 made threes in a season. “Not at all surprising, to be honest with you,” Fournier told Botte after the game. “He’s definitely found his role, and congrats to him. He has great chemistry with these guys, especially (Brunson), and he’s very smart as far as finding the pocket for a three and he has such a quick release. … He’s having a hell of a season and he deserves (the record). He’s honestly the perfect fit for how they play, and I am happy for him.”
  • Struggling guard Alec Burks sat out Monday’s game due to a sprained right shoulder, notes Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. It’s unclear how much Burks’ shoulder injury has factored into his shooting struggles since joining the Knicks. He’s shooting just 32.0% from the field since the trade deadline.
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