Mindless Tom Thibodeau decision makes another Knicks loss that much more painful

New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson
New York Knicks, Jalen Brunson / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

As if it wasn't bad enough that the New York Knicks were seconds away from falling to 0-3 on the season against the Celtics, Jalen Brunson limped off the court in pain.

After a made Derrick White free throw, Brunson prepared to receive the inbound pass, and his left foot stepped back on Payton Pritchard's right foot. Brunson couldn't put pressure on his ankle and didn't return to the game after the timeout. Instead, he limped back to the locker room.

When Brunson rolled his ankle, New York was down by 12, 133-121. He wasn't in the game to ignite a comeback. It was too late for that. Tom Thibodeau is notorious for leaving his starters in games regardless if his team is facing too big of a deficit to come back from. His decision to do so on Friday could mean the Knicks will be without their best player.

Jalen Brunson leaves Knicks loss in pain after injuring left ankle

In Game 4 of last year's playoff series against Miami, Jalen Brunson twisted the same ankle when he landed on Caleb Martin's foot. Brunson played in Game 5 but was clearly in pain.

The postseason is where players leave it all on the court, and it makes sense why Brunson didn't want to be sidelined in an elimination game. Unless the injury didn't look as serious as it looked, the point guard will need more than two days of recovery. The Knicks will host the Raptors on Monday.

As expected, Toronto has been painfully average. If New York looks like it did against Milwaukee or Boston, the Raptors will leave MSG with a win. The silver lining is that New York has a pretty solid backup point guard in Immanuel Quickley, who's averaging 15 points per game this season.

Maybe Tom Thibodeau has finally learned his lesson. It turns out that you shouldn't keep your star guard on the floor during meaningless minutes. Yes, it was an unlucky injury, but still avoidable. Hopefully, Jalen Brunson will recover quickly.