Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau Updates Jalen Brunson’s Status vs. Suns

Tom Thibodeau, Knicks

Getty Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks looks on.

New York Knicks star Jalen Brunson played through shoulder pain in the final 2:56 to rally the team to a gut-wrenching 110-98 comeback win over the Miami Heat on Friday.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau revealed he expects Brunson to play against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, November 26.

“…unless something flares up tonight,” Thibodeau was quoted by New York Daily News’ Kristian Winfield telling reporters after Saturday’s practice.

Brunson writhed in pain after a mid-air collision with Heat center Bam Adebayo. Brunson soldiered on, scoring eight of the Knicks’ final 13 points, including the 3-point play against Adebayo.

“I’m hurt,” Brunson said via New York Post after the game. “But I’m fine.”

Sunday’s 6 p.m. Eastern time matchup against the Suns will present another tough test for the Knicks.

Even without Bradley Beal, who is still dealing with back pain, the Suns are off to a 10-6 start with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.

Brunson won’t skip a shot at playing against some of the league’s best.

Fresh off winning the Eastern Conference Player of the Week award, Brunson continued his stellar play. He had 25 in a losing effort to the Minnesota Timberwolves and 24 against the Heat.

What’s more impressive on top of his clutch plays is his efficiency. Over his last two games, he shot 17-of-31 and has nine assists against only three turnovers.

Fan Encounter Fuels Jalen Brunson’s Fiery Finish

Brunson credited a Knicks fan for fueling him to rally the Knicks to their largest comeback win of the season.

“We just stuck together. Honestly, a fan looked at me in my eye over here and said ‘This is embarrassing.’ So I’ll say him,” Brunson told ESPN’s Filipino-American sideline reporter Cassidy Hubarth when asked what fueled their largest comeback win of the season.

Brunson went on to score eight of his 24 points in the final 2:56 to rally the Knicks, who trailed by as many as 21 in the third quarter. The Heat still led by nine with 3:50 left.

The win pushed the Knicks’ record to 9-6 overall, and 2-1 in the Eastern Conference’s Group B of the In-Season Tournament. A loss would have eliminated them from contention.

NBA Player of the Week

Brunson won the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week last week after averaging 28.5 points and 6.5 assists while shooting 54.3% from deep. He led the Knicks to a 3-1 record last week.

He beat his teammate Julius Randle, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard, Orlando’s Paolo Banchero, Miami’s Jimmy Butler, Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton, Cleveland’s Evan Mobley, Washington’s Kristaps Porzingis and Boston’s Jayson Tatum (BOS) for the weekly award.

Brunson’s solid play this season prompted Donte DiVincenzo to make an early All-Star campaign for his best friend.

“I would love for [Jalen Brunson] to get an All-Star berth,” DiVincenzo said via New York Post. “I think he is [an All-Star]. I think we have two All-Stars on this team [with Julius Randle].”

The Knicks starting point guard missed the cut in last year’s All-Star. But he’s making a strong case this season in a guard-heavy Eastern Conference.

Brunson currently ranks 11th in scoring and 18th in assists among the top guards in the Eastern Conference after Friday’s games, per’s stats.