A right quad contusion may force Jalen Brunson to miss his first game since signing with the Knicks, according to Peter Botte of The New York Post. Brunson suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Friday’s loss to Portland. He sat out today’s practice and is listed as questionable for Sunday when New York hosts the Grizzlies.
Brunson has been worth the $104MM investment that the Knicks made in free agency, leading the team with 21.8 points and 6.5 assists per game through the first quarter of the season. He has also become an on-court leader for a franchise that spent years searching for an answer at point guard.
“The leadership, I think point guard is a leadership position, and it helps you to manage and control the team,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I think Jalen is so team-oriented, I think it makes your team play unselfishly. I think we’re scoring a lot of points, and he gives us an attack, a pace to the game, downhill, guys are playing off each other. And if you move and you’re open on a cut, he’s gonna hit you. He wants to get the ball up the floor fast and when we do that, I think it presents a lot of easy scoring opportunities for everybody.”
There’s more from New York City:
- Derrick Rose participated in most of today’s practice after missing the past two games with an injured toe, Botte adds. Thibodeau said Rose looked “better,” but he’s still questionable for Sunday. Immanuel Quickley and Miles McBride figure to see additional playing time if Brunson and Rose are out.
- RJ Barrett‘s extended shooting slump continued Friday, but he told reporters, “I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. I’m fine,” writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Barrett made 6-of-22 shots against the Trail Blazers and is now 36-of-114 in his last seven games. Thibodeau thought Barrett was too focused on trying to draw fouls rather than attacking the basket, and Barrett seemed to agree. “They were getting everything, I thought I would get some. Sheesh,” he said, referencing Portland’s 51 free throw attempts. “Second half I started going in more aggressively, trying to finish. I played a little better.”
- Mitchell Robinson, who had to leave Monday’s game due to pain in his right knee, admitted that the knee still isn’t 100% but he’s trying to be available for the team, Braziller adds. Robinson played 23 minutes Friday with 12 points and eight rebounds.