Sunday, May 19, 2024

Jalen Brunson injury: Knicks star returns to Game 2 vs. Pacers after heading to locker room with sore foot

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Jalen Brunson left Game 2 of the second-round series between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers with roughly four minutes left in the first quarter with what the Knicks called a sore right foot. He was initially listed as questionable to return, but Brunson gave it a go after halftime and was on the floor for the Knicks at the start of the third quarter.

It is unclear when exactly the injury occurred. At one point in the first quarter, it looked as though he had taken either knee-to-knee contact or had been hit in the groin. However, he stayed in the game for a few minutes, and it seemed as though his hand, which is heavily taped, was the part of his body that was in pain. 

With roughly three-and-a-half minutes to go in the first quarter, Brunson, who was not moving well, looked as though he was asking out of the game as Josh Hart committed a transition take foul. Here’s a look at the play leading up to that moment:

Brunson is not only New York’s best player, but he has been one of the best players in the entire postseason. He entered Wednesday’s action as the postseason’s leading scorer with 256 total points despite the fact that other players have played more games thus far. And Brunson made history by scoring 40 or more points in four consecutive playoff games

He ranks fourth in the postseason in assists with 60, and earlier Wednesday, he was announced as the fifth-place finisher for this season’s MVP award.

Brunson’s presence would be critical to New York under any circumstances, but think about how injured this team already is. Julius Randle has been out for most of the season. Bojan Bogdanovic and Mitchell Robinson both suffered injuries that are expected to be season-ending during the postseason. The Knicks have relied heavily on just seven players lately, and Brunson has been their only consistent generator of shots in the half court.

The Knicks were ahead by seven when Brunson left the game. Indiana took complete control of the game from there, and led by 10 points at halftime. If Brunson can’t play at his typical level, the Knicks might be too depleted to win this game or this series.

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