Knicks forward Julius Randle speaks at the team's Greenburgh training...

Knicks forward Julius Randle speaks at the team's Greenburgh training facility on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. Credit: Howard Simmons

Tom Thibodeau provided an update of sorts on the progress Julius Randle and OG Anunoby have been making in their injury rehabilitation, but he still offered no hint of a timetable.

“It’s basically — they’re more active on the court now, but it’s still, they haven’t been cleared to take contact or anything like that yet,” Thibodeau said on Monday. “They have these markers they have to meet, and then they have to get cleared through medical with their exams with the doctors, and once that happens, then that’s really the next phase for them.

“You go step by step. It’s strength, range of motion, it’s all those things. It’s conditioning. And once the doctors feel good about it, then you add in the contact and that’s usually one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three. Then you get to five-on-five, and you’re good to go.

“You deal with it day to day. To me, just focus on whatever you control that day. So when they come back, we’ll have to adjust again, but we’ll deal with that when we get there. And then there will be a period of time when they go through an adjustment as well.”

Bogdanovic missed

While Monday marked the return of Evan Fournier and Quentin Grimes to New York, it also was a chance for a reunion for Bojan Bogdanovic with his former Pistons teammates and coaches.

On a young, rebuilding team, Bogdanovic could have bristled about his time with the struggling group, but he has had nothing but positive words about how the team went about its work, and Pistons coach Monty Williams echoed the same about him.

“He’s a competitor, but you guys knew that,” Williams said. “I always felt like he was really good with our young guys. He had a lot of patience for sure. He played on so many competitive teams, and being in a situation like ours required him to be a little more patient with the learning curve.

“He’s just a really good player, not afraid to take big shots. Competes on defense. I don’t think there’s anything there you don’t know. I enjoyed my time with him and [Alec Burks], some of the best veterans I’ve been around. I think they were great examples for our young group. When you have a young group like we have, growing players, having that example every day is good for our group. So we appreciated them.”

Playing like Wildcats

The Knicks' Villanova trio totaled 79 of the team's 113 points against Detroit on Monday night — 35 points and 12 assists by Jalen Brunson, 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists by Josh Hart and 21 points and four assists by Donte DiVincenzo. Cade Cunningham had 32 points and eight assists for the Pistons. 

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