Jalen Brunson Injury Would Derail Knicks Season

Jalen Brunson, Knicks, NBA
Feb 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) reacts after being injured during the second half against the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday night, two of the most banged-up teams in the NBA faced off at Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks, who were without Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, Mitchell Robinson, Quentin Grimes and Jerico Sims, hosted the Memphis Grizzlies, who have a laundry list of players sidelined.

The Grizzlies’ rotation against the Knicks on Tuesday consisted of multiple players on two-way contracts and players who are on 10-day hardship contracts. They can barely field a legal roster as their injury list is essentially the projected rotation they had coming into the 2023-24 NBA regular season.

Alas, the teams are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Memphis knows this is a lost season as several key contributors aren’t returning to the court. New York has remained successful battlnig through their injuries and in is the thick of the race in the Eastern Conference for a top seed.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jalen Brunson & New York Knicks Updates

However, the team’s worst nightmare may have come true on Tuesday night. With 5:31 remaining in the game, All-Star point guard Jalen Brunson suffered an ankle injury while driving to the basket.

The air was let out of Madison Square Garden, and everyone looking on could not believe what had occurred. Brunson attempted to stay in the game but had to come out and went right back to the locker room.

No update has been given on his condition, but a few positive notes have been shared. He wasn’t seen in a walking boot after the game and reportedly there was no limp. That is certainly encouraging, but more tests are certainly going to be done.

The Knicks saw first-hand how troublesome ankle injuries can be toward the end of last season. Randle suffered one and then re-aggravated it during the NBA Playoffs. He attempted to tough it out, but his performance was hampered and he underwent a procedure on it in the offseason that negatively impacted his performance at the start of the 2023-24 campaign.

While New York has overcome their injury woes to this point, losing Brunson for any period of time would derail their season. He has missed two games this season and the team went 1-1, but the offense was a mess.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jalen Brunson & New York Knicks Updates

The Knicks scored only 106 points against the Grizzlies and 94 against the Orlando Magic. Without Brunson, they had the worst offense in the NBA. Those struggles came with Randle, Anunoby and Grimes in the lineup, too; imagine how poorly things will look without those three on top of Brunson’s absence.

New York will be back on the court Thursday night against the Dallas Mavericks. If Brunson is sidelined, their rotation lineup is going to be dangerously thin has no updates about the returns of the other injured players have been shared.

Miles McBride would likely slide into the starting spot alongside Donte DiVincenzo, Josh Hart, Precious Achiwau and Isaiah Hartenstein. Malachi Flynn and Taj Gibson are the only two players who have seen minutes off the bench in the last few games.

There was some pressure on Leon Rose to get a deal done ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline as the team needed help in the shot creation department behind Brunson. That need is only bigger now that he is dealing with an ankle injury.

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