HEADLINE

Knicks could meet Hawks without sparkplug Jalen Brunson

Field Level Media

March 04, 2024 at 11:40 pm.

New York Knicks All-Star guard Jalen Brunson has ravaged the Atlanta Hawks on two occasions this season.

The undermanned Knicks, however, may be without their floor general on Tuesday when they bid for a season sweep of the Hawks in New York. Brunson is listed as questionable with a left knee contusion.

Brunson sustained the injury during the opening minute of New York’s 107-98 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. Brunson initially was listed as questionable to return during the second quarter before being ruled out for the remainder of the contest in the second half.

“Anytime someone goes down like that you have concern, but then he felt a little better, he had the X-rays, he was examined by the doctors and so that news is good,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.

As for Brunson’s playing status for Tuesday, Thibodeau offered the following:

“I guess (it’s possible that he plays),” he said. “It’s a knee contusion and everything was negative so we’ll see where he is (Monday).”

Brunson has served as the Knicks’ all-everything this season. He entered Sunday’s game averaging career highs in points (27.2) and assists (6.6) while shooting a robust 47.7 percent from the floor and 40.7 percent from 3-point range.

Brunson made a then-career-high eight 3-pointers and scored 31 points in New York’s 126-120 win in Atlanta on Oct. 27. He added six treys during his 24-point effort in the Knicks’ 116-114 road victory over the Hawks on Nov. 15.

Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart stepped up in Brunson’s absence on Sunday. The former sank six 3-pointers to highlight his 28-point performance, while the latter recorded 13 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists.

“When a guy goes down, you have to find a way,” Hart said. “We had to go out there and play our game.”

The Knicks are playing without OG Anunoby (right elbow surgery), Julius Randle (right shoulder) and Mitchell Robinson (ankle surgery), all of whom are out indefinitely.

Atlanta likely won’t shed a tear about New York’s injury woes. After all, the Hawks are in the midst of playing without Trae Young for at least four weeks after the star guard underwent surgery to repair a pinkie injury.

The Hawks fell to 2-2 without Young after dropping consecutive contests to the Brooklyn Nets to begin their three-game road trip.

Dejounte Murray followed up his 28-point performance in Atlanta’s 124-97 setback to Brooklyn on Thursday by contributing 20 points, 11 assists and six rebounds in the Hawks’ 114-102 loss on Saturday.

Atlanta saw its modest two-point lead at intermission of Saturday’s game go by the boards after getting outscored 54-40 in the second half.

“They took their physicality up a notch, and that made it harder for us to break the paint,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “(Brooklyn) is a team with intense size and athleticism throughout their lineup, and we just have to be better.”

De’Andre Hunter scored 27 points in the first meeting with New York, while Bojan Bogdanovic came off the bench to contribute 28 in the most recent meeting between the teams.