Home News Tom Thibodeau: Knicks’ OG Anunoby not yet running, only doing pool work

Tom Thibodeau: Knicks’ OG Anunoby not yet running, only doing pool work

INDIANAPOLIS — It doesn’t sound like OG Anunoby is returning to the floor any time soon.

Anunoby, who missed his second consecutive game after suffering a left hamstring strain in Game 2 against the Indiana Pacers, has not yet progressed to running, head coach Tom Thibodeau said ahead of tipoff of Game 4 on Sunday.

“Just pool work,” Thibodeau said 90 minutes before tipoff at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Which means it’s fair to assume the Knicks’ defensive stopper and floor-spacer won’t be available for Tuesday’s Game 5 back at Madison Square Garden.

An Anunoby return could be in play for Game 6 back in Indiana, however, given there are two days off after the Knicks play their next home game.

On a positive note, the starting forward traveled with the team for Games 3 and 4 and is rehabbing on the road.

“We’ve been through this, it doesn’t change: That’s why we have routines for everything,” said Thibdoeau. “So if you get nicked up in a game, your rehab is basically your game. So just lock into that. Get treatment three times a day, and just keep working at that. That’s where he is right now.”

The Knicks acquired Anunoby, as well as Precious Achiuwa, in the Dec. 30 RJ Barrett-Immanuel Quickley deal with the Toronto Raptors.

The Knicks went 20-3 in games he appeared in after the deal and went 6-2 in the playoffs prior to the Game 3 loss he missed due to injury.

Anunoby came up hobbled after a transition layup in the third quarter of the Knicks’ 130-121 Game 2 victory over the Pacers.

He was enjoying a breakout scoring performance of 28 points in 28 minutes before checking out of the game.

Thibodeau started Achiuwa in place of Anunoby in the Game 3 loss to the Pacers, then went back to Achiuwa in the starting lineup for Game 4.

The Knicks were already without Julius Randle (shoulder surgery), Bojan Bogdanovic (ankle surgery) and Mitchell Robinson (stress reaction) before Anunoby’s injury.

The Knicks also played Alec Burks and Jericho Sims in Game 3 with Anunoby out of the rotation. Burks scored 14 points in the first half alone. Sims logged four minutes, and Thibodeau was pleased with his performance in the short stint.

The Knicks have also continued to lean on Josh Hart, who played 48 or more minutes in three of the four games leading into his 43-minute workload in Game 3.

“There’s a couple different ways that they’ve gone in this situation—they’ll either play smaller to start or they’ll play bigger with Achiuwa,” said Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle. “Hart will move to the four and basically take OG’s spot at four. There are similarities to his game and OG’s game. The thing is none of it gets easier. It just doesn’t get easier.”The Knicks thrive on these kind of challenges. You’ve got to give them a lot of credit for the things they’ve overcome this year. And our guys are learning that the level of toughness you need to win at this stage of the playoffs is very high.”


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