Timberwolves give Knicks massive assist with blowout win over Nuggets

The Knicks need time, and the Timberwolves bought them some on Thursday night.
New York Knicks, Anthony Edwards, Jalen Brunson
New York Knicks, Anthony Edwards, Jalen Brunson / David Berding/GettyImages

The New York Knicks are on the verge of eliminating the Pacers and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals. Jalen Brunson is the leading scorer in the playoffs and putting up historic numbers. The Knicks have four key rotation players out, but it hasn’t mattered. They just keep winning.

New York hopes to close out their second-round series on Friday night in Indiana. They do not want to return home for Game 7. The Celtics are waiting for the winner after defeating the Cavs in five games. Boston has been the best team in the East all season, and the Knicks need a key reinforcement to return from his hamstring injury if they have any shot of pulling the upset.

Anunoby has not played since May 8. He will miss his fourth straight game on Friday night but is progressing. The 6’7 wing should be ready soon, and the Knicks got a massive boost from an unlikely source on Thursday night.

Timberwolves win buys Knicks a few extra days to rest

The Nuggets had won three straight, including two in Minnesota heading into Game 6. It felt like the defending champions had all the momentum and would knock out the Timberwolves, but Anthony Edwards and his team had other ideas. Ant-Man scored 27 as the Wolves dominated the Nuggets in Game 6. It sets up a Game 7 in the Mile High City on Sunday and bought the Knicks some extra time, assuming they win on Friday night.

New York will have a Game 7 of their own on Sunday if they lose on May 17. The Knicks have the momentum, but no road team has won in this series. A closeout in Indiana gives New York three full days to rest, which could be enough for OG Anunoby.

There is some optimism he would be ready for Sunday whether it was Game 1 or 7. Getting a few extra days to rehab his hamstring is a massive positive. The Knicks must take care of business, but it increases the chances fans see him active and ready for the opener against the Celtics.

New York needs Anunoby in the next round. Boston has arguably the best wing duo in the league in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. That makes no mention of Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, or Kristaps Porzingis (who is nearing a return from a calf injury). OG is one of the best defenders in the league. His versatility and ability to switch is massive against the Celtics.

New York benefits significantly from having another player too. They are struggling to find any trusted options off the bench with four key pieces out. OG Anunoby is comfortable playing starter’s minutes and gives head coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation a massive boost on both ends of the floor.

The New York Knicks need one more win to be back in the conference finals for the first time since 2000. It has already been a special season in the Big Apple, and things are far from done. Credit the Wolves for the assist. Now, the Knicks must take care of business to get a few days to prepare for their toughest matchup yet.