The New York Knicks were already without three starters on Tuesday against a depleted Grizzlies team, so watching Jalen Brunson roll his ankle late in the fourth quarter was a nightmare for fans. Brunson has been the Knicks' driving force with no Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, Mitchell Robinson, or Quentin Grimes.
It doesn't help that New York is without a suitable backup for Brunson, something the team has lacked since including Immanuel Quickley in the Anunoby trade. If he was still on the roster, seeing Brunson on the floor in pain would've kept some panic from creeping in.
Late in the fourth quarter, with the Knicks up 10 (after leading by 23 in the third quarter), Brunson drove to the basket and rolled his right ankle.
During the timeout that followed, Brunson remained on the sideline until he headed toward the back of MSG and didn't return.
Jalen Brunson injury scare too much for New York Knicks fans to bear
After New York's win, Tom Thibodeau was asked about Brunson. The head coach said that he didn't know any details about Brunson's condition but that the point guard was with the medical staff.
Thibodeau couldn't ease fans' worries, but Donte DiVincenzo did. He said he talked to Brunson and that he wasn't worried about his teammate's injury.
"I saw absolutely nothing. I was in the far corner, and I just saw him go down rocking back and forth and that’s the only thing I saw,” Donte DiVincenzo said. “Playing with him for so long and knowing him — I said, ‘You good?’ And he said, ‘I’m good,’ and I didn’t ask anything after that. I don’t worry about Jalen at all. He’s one of the toughest guys in the league. I’m not worried."- Donte DiVincenzo, via New York Post
SNY's Ian Begley reported that the "initial read" on Brunson's ankle was that he avoided a sprain. The star was seen leaving the Garden without crutches, another good sign.
The Knicks will host the Mavericks on Thursday, a few hours after the trade deadline. It seems as if Brunson could play, but if New York keeps him sidelined for a game or two to play it safe, Miles McBride will likely start in his place. Who knows, maybe the Knicks will have added another ball handler to make Brunson's possible absence a little more bearable.