The Knicks are facing uncertainty due to an injury to Jalen Bronson
The New York Knicks started the week on Cloud 9. Now, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over them this weekend as they prepare for life without starting guard Jalen Brunson.
Bronson has re-aggravated an injury to his left foot that sidelined him for two games before losing on the road in Sacramento two nights earlier. The Knicks officially included him in their deciding game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night, the first of a back-to-back slate against Los Angeles teams.
While the Knicks have kept quiet about the severity of Bronson’s injury, he will likely be out for the remainder of the West Coast trip. After the Lakers went up on Sunday, they’ll wrap up this four-game wild ride Tuesday in Portland awaiting Cam Reddish’s Avengers.
The Knicks are 3-3 without Bronson this season.
“Leave [Knicks medical team] Tom Thibodeau said after Thursday night’s loss to the Kings. “You have to trust them. Trust Galen. They will set him up. Whatever he needs, we make sure he gets.”
Was it a very early case?
Knicks must save Bronson from himself.
Bronson was adamant about the warrior’s mindset: “If I can walk, I can play.” So, he returned after testing his left foot during a warm-up for a nationally televised match and marquee match against that season’s Clutch leader De’Aaron Fox.
Bronson outscored Fox in the first half with 19 points on 6 of 12 shots, but the Knicks dug a 16-point hole as he limped to the locker room in apparent pain. Never again and Fox did what he does best all season – scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter with amazing plays during the clutch period.
Fox and Bronson were flipping the clutch player’s ladder before the Knicks guard went down again with the same left foot injury.
Now the Knicks, losers of their last two games, must rally and rally around the crumbling backcourt leader to prevent them from falling in the standings.
The Brooklyn Nets threaten to fire them after their big win in Minnesota on Friday night. The Knicks’ lead over the fifth seed was split in half before Saturday’s game against the Clippers, who are starting to figure things out with market acquisition Russell Westbrook.
The Clippers have won their last two games. It would have been a three-game winning streak if they hadn’t choked up against the Kings.
If anything tilts in favor of the Knicks, their remaining schedule is the eighth-easiest in the league, per tankathon. In contrast, the Nets have the toughest 13 schedule remaining.
But that road trip, the next three games after that — two at home against Western playoff rivals Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Timberwolves — and a potential season series playoff against the Heat in Miami is the challenge in their remaining schedule.
After climbing so high in the standings, they now face a tough choice: secure a more favorable seeding with the scurvy Bronson or keep him in the postseason even if there is a higher risk of starting an uphill climb from championship play.
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