The Knicks received more bad news on the injury front Friday night as rookie Quentin Grimes suffered a subluxation of the right patella.
The Knicks did not elaborate on the severity of the injury, which is a partial dislocation of the kneecap, other than to say Grimes would not return to the game.
The injury can take four to six weeks to heal without surgery, but some cases do require surgery.
With 2:30 left in the first quarter, Grimes was defending along the baseline when he ran into a hard screen from Miami’s P.J. Tucker. While the contact was near the shoulder, Grimes’ right knee appeared to buckle. He fell to the court, immediately grabbed the knee and screamed in pain. He had to be helped to the locker room on the shoulders of teammates.
After the game he tweeted, "Everything’s all good y’all!"
"That’s tough," Julius Randle said. "He’s playing really well and giving us a lot. We definitely missed him and his ability to spread the floor today and a lot of different stuff, how he competes on the defensive end, so it was tough. Tough, man."
Grimes appeared in 39 games this season, starting six, and averaged 6.5 points per game, drawing the praise of coach Tom Thibodeau for his competitiveness on both ends of the floor.
Thibs: We can do it
The Knicks have lost 14 of their last 17 games and are 3 1⁄2 games out of the final spot in the play-in tournament. But even with Kemba Walker shutting down his season and Derrick Rose undergoing a second surgical procedure on his right ankle, Thibodeau insists that the team has enough to make a playoff push.
"For me and for our team, we’ve got to focus on today, getting ready for the game and keep moving forward," he said. "Obviously, you want to do the best that you can. And then for you guys, that’s what your job is, you do all the speculating, what should happen, what we should do. That’s the beauty of the game. For us, we’ve got to lock in, we’ve got to do the best that we can, and I believe we have more than enough to get it done.
"You can have injuries, you have a lot of things that happen over the course of the season. You have to find a way to get past those things. Whatever gets thrown in front of you, you have to deal with it. Dealing with adversity is a big part of this league. Don’t get down, just keep fighting. You never know when something can turn."
His long-time friend, former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, appearing on ESPN Radio’s Bart & Hahn Show last week, said: "I love Thibodeau and I want him and the Knicks to have success. But I think long term, I’m not sure making the play-in would be a good thing for them, because it would give them I think the false sense of illusion that they’re actually closer to being a good team than they actually are. I think the best thing that could happen for them is to realize how far they have to go."
He added of the roster, "When you have a mediocre roster, you have to play with a hunger and a desperation that we saw last year. And this year, still a mediocre roster, particularly in the top-end talent, and they’ve had a few more health issues . . . I would say these corrections are going to have to take place in the offseason and they’re going to be personnel-based. You have to get top-end talent and top-end talent that fits together well. And right now I don’t think the fit is there and I don’t think the talent overall is there."