Knicks get expected (yet disappointing) OG Anunoby injury update before Game 5

OG injured his hamstring in Game 2.
New York Knicks, OG Anunoby
New York Knicks, OG Anunoby / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The New York Knicks were already shorthanded before OG Anunoby injured his hamstring in Game 2, but his presence on the court is a deciding factor in a win or a loss. New York is 26-5 in games played with Anunoby and 13-17 without him.

As expected, the forward was ruled out of Games 3 and 4 in Indiana. Even without him, the Knicks had a chance to win Game 3, but an Andrew Nembhard three-pointer ruined that. Unfortunately, New York's comeback energy wasn't present in Game 4's 121-89 blowout. It was the first game in the postseason where the Knicks looked absolutely gassed, which is surprising it took this long, considering the circumstances.

With the series returning to MSG tied 2-2, it doesn't seem like the Knicks will have Anunoby back. Before Sunday's game, Tom Thibodeau said the forward hasn't started running yet but has been doing some "pool work."

Expect OG Anunoby to miss Game 5 with hamstring injury

At this point, it seems as if the best-case scenario is that Anunoby will return for the Eastern Conference Finals. Of course, the issue with that is there's no guarantee the Knicks will be alive then. The silver lining is that even after Sunday's beatdown, two of the last three games in the series will be at MSG. New York and Indiana have defended home court thus far.

As much as it'd help to have Anunoby back in time for Game 5 (or even 6 or 7), the Knicks can beat the Pacers even with their current rotation. A lot of it will depend on Jalen Brunson. He injured his foot in Game 2, and nearly every single one of his shots in Game 4 was flat. Tired legs were the reason for that, but hopefully, the unexpected rest he got on Sunday will help him (and his teammates) recover in time for Tuesday's game.

Maybe the Knicks will get lucky, and Anunoby will be able to return, but that's an outcome New York shouldn't be preparing for. Instead, there's nothing else to do but embrace the next man-up mentality.