Knicks' slugfest vs. Heat leaves them without Jalen Brunson and with a banged-up Mitchell Robinson
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Knicks’ game against the Miami Heat on Wednesday had the feel of the old brawls the two franchises used to engage in, even if there were no punches thrown or coaches needing to hang onto the legs of an opposing player.
While there was no fight, the Knicks did get banged up. As a result, Jalen Brunson was a late scratch for Thursday’s game against the Magic, sitting out with a sprained right hand.
Mitchell Robinson, who like Brunson had been listed as questionable before the game, was cleared and in the starting lineup with tape on his contused right knee.
Orlando was without guard Jalen Suggs (concussion).
After Wednesday night’s game, the Knicks were unhappy with the officiating. They mostly held their tongues, although they did point out that Miami’s Jimmy Butler had gone to the line 14 times and Julius Randle shot just one free throw.
“I mean, any time I take that much contact and I shoot one free throw for the game, that pretty much tells the story,” Randle said.While there was a lot of contact and a lot of banged-up players, there was one play that seemed to be particularly egregious. Butler went to the ground after a miss, and as Robinson went to head up court, Butler grabbed his leg and yanked him back — with an official looking on and making no call.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau was asked if the team would send something like that to the league, and he didn’t dispute the possibility.
“Yeah, I mean, we go through every game,” Thibodeau said. “There’s things that we do send in. There’s a lot that goes on in a game. If something we think crosses over the line, we’ll send it in . . . In terms of free throws, Butler had 14 free throws and some of them, you know, some were fouls, but some were awfully tight. So we’ll just leave it at that.”