Jalen Brunson injured in garbage time, but Thibodeau has no regrets

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS


BOSTON — Jalen Brunson was injured when his team had no chance to win.

The point guard twisted his ankle with about 20 seconds remaining and his Knicks down 12, leaving Friday’s 133-123 defeat with a limp and bolting from the locker room before speaking to reporters.

Tom Thibodeau, known for riding his starters deep into garbage time, said he didn’t regret keeping Brunson in the game.

“Nope,” the coach said.

He didn’t elaborate on that decision or the severity of Brunson’s injury.

“I haven’t talked to the trainers yet,” he said.

The Celtics had already emptied most of their bench during a stoppage about 20 seconds earlier, but Thibodeau had Brunson, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett still on the court.


Tom Thibodeau, yelling out instructions during the Knicks' 133-123 loss to the Celtics, said he did not regret playing Jalen Brunson during garbage time, despite the fact he injured his ankle.
Tom Thibodeau, yelling out instructions during the Knicks’ 133-123 loss to the Celtics, said he did not regret playing Jalen Brunson during garbage time, despite the fact he injured his ankle. AP

After a Celtics free throw, Brunson stepped back with his left foot and landed on Celtics guard Payton Pritchard. The ankle turned, and Brunson doubled over in pain after going to the bench.

Almost two years ago, Barrett suffered a similar ankle injury in garbage time, and it contributed to the derailment of that Knicks season.

Barrett missed four games, the Knicks lost three of them, and the team never recovered.

“I didn’t see what happened with [Brunson],” Barrett said. “I remember mine was a little freak play; my foot just got caught, tangled. … Those things happen. It could have happened in the first quarter. Ended up happening at that time.”


Jalen Brunson limped off in the final seconds of the Knicks' loss to the Celtics.
Jalen Brunson limped off in the final seconds of the Knicks’ loss to the Celtics. Screengrab via X/@NBA_NewYork

Mitchell Robinson’s X-rays on his left ankle were negative, but he didn’t play for the entire fourth quarter.

Thibodeau labeled the X-rays as precautionary and said he benched Robinson down the stretch because the reserves were making a run.


As the NBA world awaits and compels the Knicks to raise their “middle” ceiling with a blockbuster trade, Barrett seems comfortable with being doubted.

“First, we were never going to be good. Now, we’re good, and now, we’re not good enough,” the forward said. “I think we do, for not having the best player, we do very well for ourselves.”

Barrett’s comment Friday followed a pointed critique from TNT analyst Kenny Smith, who declared his hometown team’s biggest issue is it doesn’t have the best player on the court in matchups against the seven other top squads in the Eastern Conference.

“This is why the Knicks are going to stay in the middle. Every game they play, they’re going to have the second-best player,” Smith said on a recent TNT broadcast. “You play Boston, you got the second- or third-best player. You play Orlando, with [Paolo] Banchero, they don’t have a player that’s better than Banchero. Milwaukee, we know they don’t. Philadelphia, they don’t.

“The Indiana Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton is the best player on the floor. If you play the Miami Heat, Jimmy Butler is the best player on the floor. You play the Cleveland Cavaliers, you have Donovan Mitchell. You don’t have the best player on the floor.”



Source link

You may also like