Worrisome stat shows Thibodeau needs to chill out with half of Knicks season left

This isn't sustainable!
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Tom Thibodeau doing Tom Thibodeau things. What's new? There's still half of the New York Knicks season left, and Thibodeau is slowly running OG Anunoby into the ground.

At this point, most NBA players aren't fully healthy. All-Star break is a month away, which will give players some time to rest and relax, even if they are participating in the weekend's festivities. After that, the push to the playoffs will be in full force.

Anunoby has been an excellent addition to the Knicks. If it were possible to play him and Jalen Brunson for 48 minutes every game without it wearing down their bodies, Thibodeau would do it in a heartbeat. The reality is that 82 games makes for a long season, and there's no use in overusing Anunoby.

So far this week, New York has played Orlando (a loss), Houston (a win), and Washington (a win). The game against the Wizards was far closer than it should've been, but playing Anunoby for 43 minutes was a head-scratching move, considering he played 43 minutes the night before against the Rockets and 44 against the Magic.

OG Anunoby's minutes played is cause of concern for Knicks fans

NBA players are competitors and they want to spend every minute possible on the floor. It isn't surprising that after the Knicks' win on Thursday, Anunoby said that he felt "fine." Remember, Nick Nurse coached him in Toronto.

In Anunoby's last full season with the Raptors, he averaged 35.6 minutes per game in 67 contests. Through 10 games with the Knicks, he's averaging 36.7 minutes per game. It's understandable why Thibodeau wants Anunoby on the floor, but longevity is key.

He's dealt with injuries in the past, including tearing his ACL during his final season at Indiana in 2016-17. The injury bug followed him to Toronto, where he played a combined 91 regular season games during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. It isn't the smartest idea for Thibodeau to push the limit.

Anunoby is a heck of a player, but let's make sure he makes it to the postseason in one piece, please!