East Notes: Knicks, Jalen Brunson, Bulls, Sixers


Point guard Jalen Brunson went through most of practice on Thursday and could be good to go for the Knicks’ game on Friday, coach Tom Thibodeau suggested, via Fred Katz of The Athletic.Jalen Brunson tries to drive past Donovan Mitchell

Brunson injured his knee on the first possession of Sunday’s win over the Cavaliers, then missed the next game. But the fact he may return is a good sign for a New York squad that has had its share of pain these days.

  • Small forward OG Anunoby could also be nearing a return. Anunoby injured his elbow and underwent minor surgery last month, but is back at practice and taking part in 5-on-five drills, per Katz.
  • Meanwhile, power forward Julius Randle (shoulder) is likely further away, though he has been cleared to return to light practice. “He’s making really good progress,” Thibodeau told reporters. “So we’re hopeful that it’ll be soon.”


Coach Billy Donovan said the situation involving assistant Chris Fleming and Jazz forward John Collins should’ve been avoided.

Collins and Fleming were among those involved in the late-game dustup, which really wasn’t that big of a deal — though it did cause a delay at crunch time.

“I saw (DeMar DeRozan) get fouled,” Donovan said, via Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I think (Torrey Craig) said something. They obviously came over. Chris Fleming was trying to hold everybody off to kind of separate, and then from there, it kind of escalated.

“I don’t look at it from a Utah situation at all. I look at it from our situation, and we’ve got to be better in those moments in my opinion. Not only did we lose a point on a technical foul, we also iced our free-throw shooter.”

  • Center Nikola Vucevic suggested he wants to stay in Chicago, but admitted the future is a bit cloudy. “When I sign a deal, I like to stay committed to that,” Vucevic said of the three-year, $60 million free-agent contract he signed last summer, via Cowley. “You never know what’s going to happen with this team. They have a lot of decisions to make this summer. That will be on them to decide what happens. Who knows, they could trade me, as well. You never know. But I’m not really thinking about those things.”


The Sixers are vastly undermanned right now, given that they were already without Joel Embiid and now, Tyrese Maxey is in concussion protocol. So it’s not a big surprise they’ve had a pair of late-game meltdowns this week.

As the Associated Press wrote: “The Sixers have gone a month without Embiid and there is still no timetable on his return from knee surgery. While he and Maxey are clearly the biggest names sitting out, the Sixers have been riddled by injuries this season and an expected Eastern Conference contender is now fighting to stay out of the play-in tournament.”

  • Philadelphia held a 15-point lead to the equally injury-riddled Grizzlies, before losing on Wednesday. Forward Tobias Harris has admittedly had some up-and-down struggles. “Harris’ shooting struggles were also a major reason why Memphis hung around,” wrote Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “He dropped to 2 for 9 from the field late in the third quarter with a catch-and-shoot three-point try that fell short.”

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