This past week has proven to be rather trying for the New York Knicks. After rattling off three-straight wins, Tom Thibodeau’s club has dropped their last three outings, with their most recent loss coming against the lowly Orlando Magic.
However, though times may be tough, good news has managed to surface for the team, as Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported Sunday that hobbled point guard Jalen Brunson participated in New York’s latest practice.
This report comes just a day before the Knicks are slated to take to the hardwood again, as they return home to Madison Square Garden to play host to the Houston Rockets.
Brunson, who returned to action on March 18 following a three-game absence due to a nagging foot injury, sprained his right hand during Wednesday’s loss to the Miami Heat.
While the 26-year-old is still considered to be questionable for the team’s upcoming contest, Bondy’s update noting his involvement in Sunday’s practice is a sign of progress, as he was relegated to the sidelines during their most recent outing against the Magic Thursday night.
Immanuel Quickley Addresses Altercation With Julius Randle
During the team’s loss against the Orlando Magic, star big man Julius Randle and third-year guard Immanuel Quickley found themselves taking part in an on-court altercation.
After receiving a technical foul for aggressively conversing with an official, while Quickley was trying to restrain him the power forward took objection to his efforts, resulting in the two going face-to-face.
Though they were quickly separated, it caught the attention of fans and media pundits alike and, during a post-game media session, the guard was asked to shed light on the altercation between him and his teammate.
He refrained from throwing shade at Randle and, instead, seemingly came to the defense of the two-time All-Star.
“Honestly, everybody trying to win, that’s all I can really say. Sometimes that happens. It’s part of sports. It’s part of what it takes to be a professional athlete. It’s not just basketball, it’s other things with that,” Quickley said. “Everybody trying to win.”
Despite the high-end emotions, both Randle and Quickley put forth impressive performances against the Magic, with the former dropping 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists while the latter posted 25 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds.
Ex-Knicks Coach Sounds Off on Team’s Postseason Potential
As noted, Julius Randle’s outburst received a high amount of attention.
During Friday’s edition of ESPN’s the Michael Kay Show, the situation was discussed in depth by hosts Mitchael Kay, Don La Greca, and Peter Rosenberg with former Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy coming in as a guest.
During their discussions on the matter, Van Gundy went on to suggest that the big man’s inability to keep his cool when not getting his way is a major red flag for the team as they head into the postseason.
“When you’re in the playoffs, every possession there’s…obviously more meaning, more pressure. It’s going to be more physical so you’re going to take more hits and bumps that are not called and if you can’t handle, as a team or as an individual, physical play or calls that don’t go your way or bad runs in a game then you’re not going to have the mental fortitude to be able to endure and win playoff games and playoff series. You need your best player to play their best when their best is needed and the only way to do that is if you have mental strength,” Van Gundy said.
It is because of this that Van Gundy would continue on to state that he finds it hard to see the Knicks advancing beyond the first round, and would suggest that “the only chance they have to get to the second round is if they play Cleveland,” though, even with this matchup, he’s far from confident in New York’s potential.