Tom Thibodeau Announces Potential Issue With Key Knicks Player Ahead of Game 2

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks.

Getty Head coach Tom Thibodeau # of the New York Knicks reacts during the fourth quarter of Game One.

The New York Knicks could be without Game 1 hero Josh Hart when they gun for a 2-0 lead on Tuesday in Cleveland.

New York coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters after Monday’s practice that Hart was a limited participant due to a sprained ankle.

“Josh did some parts of the practice. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Thibodeau said via SNY.

Hart sustained the injury when he awkwardly landed on teammate Julius Randle’s foot in a rebound attempt against Cavaliers’ big man Jarrett Allen, who tipped in Donovan Mitchell’s miss for a 93-92 lead with 2:12 left in Game 1.

Hart was seen clutching his left ankle after the play. He stayed in the game and drilled the go-ahead 3-pointer coming off a Knicks timeout.

“Usually, with sprains like that, it’s more how you feel the next day. He said he felt fine in the game. We’ll see where he is tomorrow,” Thibodeau said via SNY.

The clutch 3-pointer was the icing on Hart’s phenomenal playoff debut. He had 17 points, 10 rebounds, five on the offensive glass, and added two assists and one steal in 33 minutes off the bench.

Randle missed 17 days with a sprained left ankle, but Hart’s injury looked less severe as he was able to finish the game.

A few hours after Thibodeau’s announcement, the Knicks officially listed Hart as doubtful to play for Game 2.

If Hart misses Game 2, RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, who shot a combined 2-of-17 from the floor in Game 1, need to step up. Thibodeau could also lean on second-year guard Miles McBride, who pestered Donovan Mitchell in a short spurt during their final meeting in the regular season.

Mitchell scored 38 points in the series opener, with Quentin Grimes and Hart alternately shadowing him.

Tom Thibodeau Praises RJ Barrett Despite Poor Shooting

RJ Barrett struggled from the field, hitting only 2 of 12 shots. But he did a little bit of everything as he added four rebounds, six assists and four steals to his seven points.

When asked to evaluate Barrett’s performance in Game 1, Thibodeau emphasized the other component of winning aside from scoring.

“It’s good. The bottom line is winning the game,” Thibodeau said via SNY. “If you don’t shoot well, do some other things – hustle, get stops. His size is important. The rebounding component is big. The ability to challenge shots, that’s a big part as well, and how he fits into the team’s schemes.”

Barrett’s main task was to clamp down on his draft classmate and Cleveland’s No. 2 option Darius Garland in Game 1.

Garland had a quiet 17 points and one assist against five turnovers. He only had one field goal attempt and committed two turnovers against Barrett’s defense in 35.2 partial possessions, according to’s matchup tracker.

Knicks Viewed As Potential Landing Spot for O.G. Anunoby

The Knicks are believed to be one of the potential landing spots for Toronto Raptors two-way wing O.G. Anunoby, according to an Eastern Conference general manager.

“The Knicks are in a good position to really look at using the picks they have to get a wing defender who can solidify the rest of the roster,” the Eastern Conference GM told Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney.

The Knicks were interested in Anunoby before the trade deadline, but they eventually stood pat as they went on a winning streak that turned their season around. Instead of Anunoby, they landed Hart, who was a seamless fit and instrumental to the Knicks’ march to the playoffs.

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