Alec Burks

Knicks Notes: Randle, Offseason Storylines, Report Card, Rose, More

At the center of the Knicks‘ offseason plans is the complicated future of forward Julius Randle. On one hand, the talented forward made his third All-Star appearance in the last four seasons and helped power New York to one of the best months in franchise history during a 12-2 January. On the other, he suffered an injury at the end of January and didn’t play a single second the rest of the season as New York pushed Indiana to seven games in the conference semifinals.

As the New York Post’s Stefan Bondy writes, it isn’t impossible to come up with a theoretical trade package in the Knicks’ well-publicized pursuit of another star that precludes Randle. However, both Bondy and The Athletic’s Fred Katz note that including Randle in such talks could be New York’s best way to adding star power.

The Knicks aren’t trying to trade Randle, at least not yet, according to Katz. However, his eligibility for an extension (which begins Aug. 3) complicates factors. If the Knicks decide to go the route of maintaining continuity, Randle can sign for as much as $181.5MM across four years. Thankfully for the Knicks, Randle’s extension eligibility beginning in early August works in their favor, Katz explains — August is late enough in the offseason to recognize the team’s potential (or lack thereof) to acquire another star in 2024, but it’s also early enough to keep him available by the time the Feb. 2025 trade deadline rolls around, as players are ineligible to be traded for six months after extension.

With an expensive roster on the horizon, the Knicks have soul searching to do this offseason, Katz writes. If they feel they’re contenders in August, they’ll likely lock everyone up. If they don’t, it will accelerate the timeline of any difficult decision, assuming those decisions aren’t made even earlier this upcoming offseason.

We have more Knicks notes:

  • The Knicks also have a decision to make on forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who was acquired via trade at the 2024 deadline but saw his production drop upon his arrival in New York. Bogdanovic, who ended the season injured, has only $2MM guaranteed if he’s released by June 28. If he isn’t, his guarantee increases to $19MM. As Katz writes in the same piece, what New York does with Bogdanovic could be telling for the rest of the offseason. If they keep him past June 28, it could signal a trade for a star, as his mid-sized salary would be useful for matching purposes. Katz speculates the Knicks could look to try and come to an agreement with Bogdanovic and postpone his trigger date until July.
  • Other offseason storylines outside of OG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein‘s futures include whether the Knicks should move their Nos. 24 and 25 picks in the 2024 draft and the futures of free agents Alec Burks and Precious Achiuwa. Regarding the latter point, Katz writes Burks could command more than the minimum in unrestricted free agency, which would make it difficult to justify keeping a player who had an inconsistent second tenure with the team but who caught fire to end the year. As for Achiuwa, his restricted free agency gives New York more options, such as a potential sign-and-trade to another team.
  • Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart had the best seasons of any Knicks players, according to Bondy in his end-of-season report card (subscriber link). Brunson’s stardom and Hart’s role as the do-it-all glue guy earned them the top spots. Jericho Sims, who didn’t play consistent minutes even after New York’s roster was banged up, earned Bondy’s lowest grade. However, Bondy reports that opposing teams have expressed interest in trading for the 25-year-old big if he becomes available.
  • Knicks president Leon Rose declined to hold an end-of-season press conference, according to Katz (Twitter link). Katz points out that no Knicks official has spoken to media on the record since 2021 and Rose hasn’t done an individual press conference since taking over in 2020.
  • After seven straight seasons of failing to reach 40 wins from 2013-20, the Knicks are a respectable and strong team in the East’s hierarchy. Howard Beck of The Ringer takes a look back at how Rose helped morph the Knicks into what they are today and how it began with not trading for Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, whose arrival might have inhibited Brunson’s ability to break out on this scale.

Knicks Notes: McBride, Hartenstein, DiVincenzo, Anunoby, Burks

After losing back-to-back games in Indiana, the Knicks made a lineup change ahead of Game 5, inserting Miles McBride into Precious Achiuwa‘s spot in the starting five. As Ian Begley of writes, the move paid major dividends.

The Knicks outscored the Pacers by 26 points during McBride’s 40 minutes on the court, and the extra spacing afforded by his presence gave Jalen Brunson more room to operate — the Knicks star took advantage by scoring a series-high 44 points in the blowout victory. McBride was also one of the primary defenders on Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton, who contributed just 13 points and five assists on the night.

“Huge,” Donte DiVincenzo said of McBride’s impact, per Begley. “Offensively, spacing the floor, being aggressive. And defensively making it hell full court, denying it. Being able to be in help and get back. He was special tonight.”

Despite using a smaller lineup, with the 6’2″ McBride replacing the 6’8″ Achiuwa, the Knicks dominated the game inside. They outscored Indiana by a 62-36 margin in the paint and grabbed 53 rebounds (20 offensive) compared to just 29 (five offensive) for the Pacers. Seventeen of those rebounds, including 12 offensive boards, went to Isaiah Hartenstein, who said playing “physical” basketball was a priority for him heading into Tuesday’s game.

“I feel like the games in Indiana, I wasn’t playing like myself, wasn’t physical,” Hartenstein said, according to Peter Botte of The New York Post. “I was letting them kind of play how I play, so just coming in, that was the biggest thing I wanted to do.”

Here’s more on the Knicks as they prepare to head back to Indianapolis with a 3-2 series lead:

  • DiVincenzo and Myles Turner got into a brief altercation in the third quarter of Tuesday’s game and had to be separated (Twitter video link). After DiVincenzo threw down a big dunk, he came back up the court and attempted to fight through a Turner screen, but got called for a foul. According to Brian Lewis of The New York Post, Turner seemed to take exception with an elbow to the gut from the Knicks wing on the play. “They were trying to be tough guys. And that’s not their identity, and there’s nothing more to that,” DiVincenzo told reporters after the game. “I don’t agree with trying to walk up on somebody. … Nobody is going to fight in the NBA. So take the foul, keep it moving. You’re not a tough guy. Just keep it moving.”
  • Head coach Tom Thibodeau said on Tuesday that injured forward OG Anunoby (hamstring strain) was doing some “light work” on the court, as Begley tweets. However, in a pregame TNT segment, sideline reporter Chris Haynes (Twitter video link) suggested that Anunoby is probably a long shot to play again in this series, stating that a potential return for the Eastern Conference Finals is more likely.
  • After not playing in any of the Knicks’ first seven games of the playoffs, Alec Burks has emerged as a reliable rotation piece since Anunoby went down, scoring 14, 20, and 18 points in his past three games. “He’s been giving us huge minutes this series,” Josh Hart said (story via Botte). “He’s a true professional, someone who’s staying ready. You see him every day working hard, getting his shots up. That’s what pros do. When they’re not in the rotation they continue to get better, continue to stay ready. When his number was called he came out and provided for us when we desperately needed it. He’s a true pro, someone who we’re going to continue to rely on for those minutes.”

Knicks Notes: Anunoby, Brunson, Burks, Officiating, Oakley

Knicks forward OG Anunoby won’t be available for Sunday afternoon’s Game 4 at Indiana. He’s listed as out on the team’s official injury report due to the left hamstring strain that also caused him to miss Game 3.

Anunoby’s status for the rest of the series is uncertain after he left Wednesday’s game when he came up limping with pain in his hamstring area. Even though Anunoby wasn’t considered likely to play in either game at Indianapolis, the organization decided it was best to have him make the trip.

“Our medical team is here, so it makes sense [for Anunoby to be in Indianapolis),” coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters, including Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. “So just keep working at it and we’ll see where he is every day.” 

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • Jalen Brunson admitted he took a bad shot in the final seconds Friday night when New York had a chance to tie the game, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. With the Knicks trailing by three points, Brunson was determined to shoot before the Pacers had a chance to send him to the line, but he wound up launching an off-balance three-point attempt that was far off the mark. “There’s times where teams foul up three, and I’ll leave it at that,” Brunson said. “I just made a bad decision.” Brunson still appeared to be bothered by a foot injury that sidelined him for part of Game 2, Katz adds. However, he managed to play 38 minutes and doesn’t appear on the injury report for Sunday.
  • Alec Burks, who had barely played in the postseason before Friday night, provided an unexpected lift for the Knicks in Game 3, notes Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News. The veteran swingman logged 21 minutes and scored 14 points as injuries forced Thibodeau to reach deep into his bench. “I think him coming in and not playing for that long, staying ready, I think him mentally being ready, mentally giving us a spark, our offense, was big for us,” Isaiah Hartenstein said.
  • After Rick Carlisle complained about the officiating in the first two games of the series, the Pacers seemed to get a better whistle Friday night, observes Barbara Barker of Newsday. Among the crucial calls that went Indiana’s way, according to Barker, was an apparent goaltend that wasn’t called when Myles Turner blocked Josh Hart‘s layup attempt with 2:03 left to play.
  • Plenty of Knicks legends have been spotted at Madison Square Garden since the playoffs began, but Charles Oakley isn’t among them. Oakley hasn’t been in the arena since he was ejected following a 2017 scuffle with security, and a spokesperson for the organization tells Dan Gelston of The Associated Press that he wasn’t invited to attend. Oakley insists he won’t consider going to MSG until he hears from team owner James Dolan. “They’ve got to apologize,” he said. “We’ll go from there. Can (Dolan) be man enough to say, mistakes happen. And he made one.”

Knicks Notes: Rotation, Hart, Thibodeau, DiVincenzo

The Knicks “could” expand their rotation beyond seven players when they face Indiana in the Eastern Conference semifinals, according to Tom Thibodeau, but New York’s head coach isn’t making any promises either way, as Peter Botte of The New York Post details.

Nine players saw action for the Knicks in the first round, but Bojan Bogdanovic suffered a foot injury during the series that ended his season and Precious Achiuwa – a DNP-CD in four of six games vs. Philadelphia – only played when Mitchell Robinson was unavailable. In addition to his starters, Thibodeau essentially only used Robinson and Miles McBride off the bench, Botte writes.

If the Knicks do roll with an eight-man rotation in round two, Achiuwa is the most likely candidate to see regular playing time, says Botte. An undersized center, Achiuwa may match up better against a Pacers front line led by Myles Turner, who spends more time on the perimeter and isn’t as imposing in the paint as Joel Embiid.

Alec Burks is another candidate to see some action off the bench, but he played poorly down the stretch after being acquired from Detroit, shooting just 30.7% from the floor in 23 regular season appearances as a Knick.

Here’s more out of New York:

  • Josh Hart has been a perfect fit for the Knicks as a player on the court and for New York City as a personality off the court, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. Current TNT analyst Stan Van Gundy, who coached Hart in New Orleans earlier in his career, tells Bondy that he viewed Hart as a player who “lived for” the biggest games and the biggest moments. “Josh was always great when you played the best teams, when he got the matchup with the best players,” Van Gundy said. “You never had to worry about him.”
  • After a clip from a February podcast in which he referred to Indiana as “bottom of the barrel” resurfaced ahead of the Knicks’ second-round series, Hart is prepared to hear boos from the Pacers faithful in Indianapolis. According to Botte, Hart sheepishly tried to walk back his comments by calling Indianapolis a “great city” and insisting he loves Indiana. “Do I think I’ll probably get booed? Probably,” Hart said. “It’s funny. But for me it’s always like, I don’t mind it. That’s their job. Their job is to boo, to get loud, cheer for their team. So, like I said, as long as I can get some Long’s Bakery donuts, I’ll be solid.”
  • Jason Kidd is the latest NBA head coach to sign a contract extension, having completed a new deal with the Mavericks earlier today. Could Thibodeau be next? As Van Gundy tells Bondy, the Knicks’ coach, whose current contract expires in 2025, looks like an obvious candidate for an extension. “I think it would be a real mistake on (the Knicks’) part not to lock him up for a lot of years,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t think it’s something Tom has to worry about. He certainly wants to be there. Any organization that it’s in a win-now mode would want him, so he’s going to have a job. … But I think he’d rather be there and they should want to lock him up for as long as they possibly can.”
  • Donte DiVincenzo will get the assignment as the primary defender on Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton to open the second-round series. Brian Lewis of The New York Post takes a look at how DiVincenzo is approaching that challenge.

Knicks Notes: Anunoby, Bogdanovic, Burks, Hart, Thibodeau

After returning to the Knicks‘ lineup Friday night, OG Anunoby said it was “just inflammation” in his right elbow that forced him to miss the previous nine games, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. Anunoby, who is operating under a minutes restriction, believed it was important to get back on the court before the postseason begins.

He was able to play three games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on the elbow in February, but suffered a setback that kept him out of action again. He told reporters that he took a different approach to rehab this time than he did immediately after the operation.

“Maybe less shooting. Building up the shooting, not just going back to shooting like I normally shoot,” Anunoby said. “So just taking my time and it’s going to get better and better.” 

Anunoby played 29 minutes on Friday, scoring 12 points and shooting 5-of-8 from the field. He replaced Miles McBride in the starting lineup and guarded DeMar DeRozan for most of the night. Anunoby made an immediate impact after being acquired from Toronto in late December, and Friday’s loss dropped the Knicks to 15-3 with him on the court.

“I’m happy he’s back, happy he’s healthy,” Jalen Brunson said. “Obviously, we didn’t win so it clouds my judgment right now (on how Anunoby played), but just happy he’s healthy and out there.” 

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks were expected to provide much-needed shooting help when they were acquired in a deadline deal with Detroit, but both players are in danger of being left out of the playoff rotation, Bondy states in a separate story. Bondy notes that Anunoby’s return pushes Burks to the 10th spot in the rotation, which is more players than coach Tom Thibodeau typically uses in the postseason. Bogdanovic and Burks have struggled with efficiency since coming to New York, and they’ve seen their playing time reduced recently.
  • Josh Hart was ejected in the first quarter Friday for kicking Javonte Green in the side of the head on a play that appeared to be accidental (video link), Bondy adds in another piece. Referee Scott Foster said “intent was not a criteria” in handing out the Flagrant 2.
  • Talking with the media in Chicago, where he coached for five years, Thibodeau pushed back against the long-standing criticism that he gives too many minutes to his starters, per Steve Popper of Newsday. “People tend not to look at — what are the star players playing? Because usually you’re matching their players with a primary defender,” Thibodeau said. “So when LeBron [James] is on the floor, that’s when that player is on the floor. So LeBron is playing 39, he’s 39. If DeMar is playing 40, then whoever is guarding him has to play 40. Otherwise, you’re reducing your chances of winning. And the bottom line is to win games.”

Grizzlies’ Morant, Knicks’ Burks Seek Out New Agents

Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant and agent Jim Tanner have parted ways, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

Morant has been represented by Tanner since he declared for the 2019 draft. Morant was the No. 2 overall pick that June and blossomed into a max-level player.

The change in representation won’t impact his on-court earnings for a while, since Morant is under contract through the 2027/28 season. He signed a five-year, maximum-salary extension in 2022.

It has been a lost season for Morant, who was handed a 25-game league suspension in June for a series of off-court incidents. The two-time All-Star scored 34 points and made a game-winning shot in his season debut after serving out the suspension. However, he only appeared in nine games before he required season-ending surgery for a labral tear in his right shoulder.

Morant has four years and $163.2MM left on his contract after 2023/24, including an approximate $36.7MM salary next season.

Knicks guard Alec Burks is also changing agents, Newsday’s Steve Popper tweets. He’s moving on from Octagon to join Rich Paul and Anthony Fields of Klutch Sports.

Burks will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. Burks, who is making $10.49MM in 2023/24, was dealt back to New York by Detroit at the trade deadline. Burks has struggled with his shooting in 20 appearances since the trade, averaging 7.2 points in 14.6 minutes with a 31.6% overall field goal percentage, including 30% from deep.

Burks, who averaged 12.6 points on 39.4% shooting (40.1% on 3-point attempts) in 43 games with the Pistons this season, should still attract interest in the free agent market. He’s a career 38.3% three-point shooter and has averaged double digits in scoring, mostly off the bench, over the last five seasons.

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.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Harden, Knicks-Pistons Trade, DiVincenzo, Holiday

The Sixers‘ first meeting with James Harden since trading him to the Clippers last fall was relatively calm, but Wednesday’s rematch in Philadelphia will likely have a different atmosphere, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Harden concentrated on play-making on Sunday afternoon, scoring 12 points and handing out 14 assists as the Sixers picked up a much-needed road victory. Harden left without speaking to reporters, but his former teammates said they’re happy that he appears to have found a positive situation in Los Angeles.

“James is a hell of a player and I’ll always have a huge amount of respect for him,” Tobias Harris said. “Playing with him here, it’s good to see him playing in L.A., flourishing and playing his game and just ballin’ out. It’s all love and respect. He’s a hall-of-fame player, and for me it was an honor being here, playing with him.”

Harden can expect a raucous reception when he returns to Philadelphia for the first time since a bitter contract dispute with Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey led him to demand a trade last summer. Haden launched repeated verbal attacks at Morey and disrupted training camp and the early part of the season before being traded to L.A. at the start of November.

Vardon adds that instead of being focused on Harden, the Sixers are concerned about their playoff prospects as they try to stay in the race for the sixth seed while Joel Embiid recovers from meniscus surgery.

“We know what the situation is,” Tyrese Maxey said. “We know we gotta go out there and fight. He’s not here, he’s not walking through those doors right now. What we have in this locker room, that’s who has to go out there and compete.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks will host the Pistons tonight in a reminder of a trade that has turned out poorly for both teams so far, notes Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. New York hoped to bolster its shooting last month when it acquired Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic from Detroit. However, they’ve both been disappointing, even with extra opportunities created by injuries to Julius Randle and OG Anunoby. For Detroit, Quentin Grimes has missed 15 of 21 games with a right knee injury he suffered when he was still with the Knicks. Evan Fournier has appeared in 19 straight games after being trapped on Tom Thibodeau’s bench, but he’s been in a severe shooting slump.
  • Donte DiVincenzo is nearing the Knicks‘ record for most three-pointers in a season, Bondy adds in a separate story. He’s 18 away from the mark of 241 that Fournier set two years ago. “I don’t think about it. Obviously I’m aware of it, but I don’t go into the game going, ‘How many do I need?’” DiVincenzo said. “That’s for you guys to talk about, that’s for everybody else to have fun with. But when you start doing that — there’s basketball karma, basketball gods. That’s not something [I want to mess with].”
  • Celtics guard Jrue Holiday explained the shoulder issue that will cause him to miss his fourth straight game tonight, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “Not a dead arm. I got hit on my shoulder and it felt like my arm went dead,” Holiday said. “But it’s not a nerve thing or anything. It’s just the part of the shoulder that I got hit in. But my shoulder is fine.

Knicks Notes: Anunoby, Burks, Brunson, Hartenstein

In his second game back after recovering from elbow surgery, Knicks forward OG Anunoby seemed to aggravate that right elbow issue during the first half of Thursday’s win over Portland, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. Anunoby grimaced and appeared irritated by the elbow a few times after that, but remained in the game and downplayed concerns in his post-game media session.

“It’s just sore. Nothing really happened. Just went for a ball. And it hurt randomly, but it’s fine,” Anunoby said, adding that he anticipates playing on Saturday in Sacramento. “… It’s not even pain tolerance. This is just a random thing.”

Head coach Tom Thibodeau also didn’t come off as overly worried about Anunoby’s condition when he spoke to reporters after the game.

“There’s gonna be some times where there’s gonna be soreness. He played through it,” Thibodeau said. “He was fine. (The doctor) looked at him. There’s gonna be times where he gets hit and you just try to keep going. So we’ll see where he is.”

Keeping Anunoby healthy will be a priority down the stretch for the Knicks, who have an incredible +25.2 net rating during his 565 minutes on the court since he was acquired from Toronto in December. The three-and-D stalwart is listed as questionable for Saturday’s contest vs. the Kings, Bondy notes (via Twitter).

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • In a separate story for The New York Post, Bondy spoke to three surgeons about Anunoby’s injury. Those outside experts suggested that lingering pain is normal so soon after the procedure, and while it’s manageable, that pain may take a while to go away if the elbow isn’t rested. “He needs to shoot, he needs to practice, but at the same time, he needs to rest,” Dr. Leon Popovitz, the co-founder of New York Bone & Joint, told Bondy. “But he’s a professional athlete, he needs to get out there. This is probably going to be something he feels the next few weeks.”
  • Trade deadline acquisition Alec Burks played a season-low 4:18 on Thursday and didn’t see the floor at all in the second half. That was a basketball decision and not an injury-related one, Bondy writes for The Post. Burks has shot just 31.3% from the field and has more turnovers than assists since rejoining the Knicks, so his spot in the rotation going forward looks tenuous.
  • After being on a minutes restriction in his first three games back from a knee contusion, Jalen Brunson had that restriction lifted on Thursday and made the most of it, racking up 45 points in 38 minutes in New York’s win over the Blazers, per Bondy at The Post.
  • Isaiah Hartenstein‘s minutes limit remains in place, Bondy notes within the same story. The big man continues to start at center but has averaged a modest 21.2 MPG in his past 10 contests. Thibodeau isn’t 100% sure how long that restriction will last. “He’s feeling a lot better as well, so that’s the positive,” Thibodeau said of Hartenstein. “Obviously, getting OG has added a lot. So now Precious (Achiuwa) goes more to the backup five. And then we still have Jericho (Sims). So we feel good about that.”

Knicks Notes: Offensive Struggles, Anunoby, Randle, Milton, Rotation

The Knicks played their worst game of the season and posted their lowest offensive total in nearly six years in Sunday’s 79-73 loss to Philadelphia, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. It was the fewest points scored by any NBA team in 2023/24, barely eclipsing the 74 points that New York held Orlando to Friday night, and Knicks players were honest about their performance.

“We played like [expletive],” Josh Hart said. “I mean, we obviously didn’t shoot the ball well. Turnovers bad. I think I had six or seven myself … But we’ve got to try to flush it. Got them again on Tuesday. Try to come out and play better.”

The Knicks shot 32.5% from the field and committed 19 turnovers, with All-Star Jalen Brunson going just 6-of-22. The game had a late-1990s feel to it, Popper observes, including a fourth quarter altercation between Donte DiVincenzo and Kelly Oubre that led to a shoving match involving several players.

DiVincenzo refused to comment on the scuffle, but Oubre said, “All of that stuff’s funny to me. I don’t know why. I just laugh, because nobody’s gonna fight.”

There’s more from New York:

  • Coach Tom Thibodeau said OG Anunoby will travel with the team when it departs for the West Coast on Thursday, per Ian Begley of SNY (Twitter link). There’s hope that Anunoby will be able to return soon from a right elbow injury that has sidelined him since January 27. Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson will also make the trip, but there are concerns about why Randle still hasn’t been cleared for contact, Begley adds.
  • Randle missed his 18th game of the season Sunday night, which means he won’t receive a $1.28MM bonus for appearing in 65 games, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. Randle’s contract includes the same bonus for next season, which will now be considered unlikely. His cap hit will be adjusted to $28.9MM and the team will receive a $1.28MM tax variance credit for this season, Marks adds.
  • Shake Milton has only played one minute in three games since signing with the Knicks last week, but Thibodeau is urging him to be patient, according to Peter Botte of The New York Post. “Just fit in and stay ready. Trades are hard in the middle of the season. You gotta learn the system,” Thibodeau said. “But I like what I’ve seen from him in terms of his attitude, his approach. He’s been very, very good.”
  • In a separate story, Popper examines what the Knicks’ rotation might look like if everyone is healthy. He notes that a potential starting five of Brunson, DiVincenzo, Anunoby, Randle and Robinson hasn’t played together yet. If that’s the starting unit, Popper expects Hart, Isaiah Hartenstein and Miles McBride to be the first three reserves. It’s tougher to determine who’s next in line, as Precious Achiuwa, Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, Jericho Sims and Milton will all be competing for limited minutes.