The New York Knicks made a lineup change before their loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau inserted Donte DiVincenzo into the starting lineup, replacing a struggling Quentin Grimes at shooting guard. Thibodeau may have to reconfigure his lineup again as star point guard Jalen Brunson suffered an ankle injury in the waning seconds of Friday’s game.
NBA Rumors: Jalen Brunson, Kyrie Irving, Evan Mobley, & Joel Embiid Injury Updates, Plus More
With 21 seconds left, in what ended up being a 10-point loss by the Knicks (133-123), Brunson significantly turned his ankle on a freak play while Celtics guard Derrick White shot a free throw with just 21 seconds left on the game clock.
After White made the free throw, with his sub waiting to check-in on the sideline, Brunson accidentally stepped on Celtics’ guard Payton Pritchard’s foot and drastically twisted his ankle before hobbling to the sidelines.
Jalen Brunson injures his foot with 21 seconds left pic.twitter.com/szKUP3t9bf
— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) December 9, 2023
There has been no word whether Brunson will miss any time due to the injury. The Knicks (12-9), who have lost two straight, are off until Monday when they host the Toronto Raptors. So, there is plenty of time to determine Brunson’s status, although expect him to be listed at least as questionable for the game.
Brunson’s ankle didn’t appear to give him problem while he was at Villanova’s game against UCLA on Saturday night.
If Brunson does have to miss time, expect Immanuel Quickley to step in to replace him in the lineup. In 21 games as a starter a year ago, Quickley upped his production to 22.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists while compiling a slash line of .469/.401/.846.
Kyrie Irving Suffers Foot Injury
Dallas Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving suffered a foot injury on Friday. Irving left in the second quarter of Friday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers after teammate Dwight Powell took a hard fall on Irving’s right foot.
The injury occurred after Irving was fouled on a drive to the basket with 3:51 left in the half. As Irving fell to the ground, Powell leaped for the loose ball and awkwardly fell backward, landing on Irving’s foot.
Irving laid on the ground for several minutes in obvious pain as concerned teammates gathered around him. He was able to get to his feet and shoot a pair of free throws but then checked out of the game and headed for the locker room.
Per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Irving suffered just a bruised foot. However, his status for Monday’s game against the Grizzlies has yet to be determined.
Mavs feel fortunate that Kyrie Irving suffered “just a bruise” from Dwight Powell’s fall on Irving’s right foot, a source told ESPN. Irving has dealt with soreness in that foot throughout the season. His status for Monday’s game in Memphis has yet to be determined.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 9, 2023
The Mavericks are currently in Memphis, waiting for their game on Monday. However, Marc Stein reports that Irving did not travel with the team, and the expectation is that he will miss at least one game.
Kyrie Irving, I'm told, did not travel with the Mavericks to Memphis today as he recovers from the right foot injury he sustained in Portland last night.
Irving's official status has yet to be announced but he is expected to at least miss Monday's road game with the Grizzlies. https://t.co/WQByYghzRX
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 9, 2023
Joel Embiid Downplays Injury Scare
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid fell awkwardly and then clutched his knee in obvious pain in Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. But the big man remained in the game, and the Sixers won the contest.
Embiid, who was noticeably hobbled, came up with a massive block on the Hawks’ Dejounte Murray and hit big shots down the stretch to secure the 125-114 victory for the 76ers. Embiid posted his sixth straight double-double and 14th overall as he finished with 38 points, on 12 of 24 shooting from the field, and 14 caroms.
After the game, Embiid downplayed the severity of the injury.
“I’m not sure. “I’ve got to watch the play, but I just twisted it. So we’re going to talk about it and see how it feels. I should be fine.”
Embiid was slated to get re-evaluated today.
Nassir Little Suffers Possible Concussion
Phoenix Suns reserve forward Nassir Little took a hard fall in the first quarter of Friday’s contest versus Sacramento and appeared to be woozy after the incident, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic.
Nassir Little (concussion protocol) out remainder of game as he's being evaluated.
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) December 9, 2023
Little was later ruled out of the remainder of the contest as he’s being evaluated for a concussion. The 23-year-old could miss games if he did indeed sustain a concussion. The Suns (12-10) have lost two straight and four of five. They next play Golden State at home on Tuesday.
Alex Caruso and Anthony Edwards
The Chicago Bulls (9-14) are on a season-high four-game winning streak following their 121-112 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night. Without Zach LaVine for the next month, the Bulls may lose Alex Caruso for a few games.
Caruso left Friday’s matchup early in the fourth quarter after accidentally stepping on Coby White’s foot. According to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson, Caruso slapped the floor in disgust after he landed and had to be helped to the locker room by the training staff. Johnson added that this is a new injury for the 29-year-old, who has missed three games due to a left toe strain.
Meanwhile, Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Anthony Edwards’ return to action could be short-lived. Edwards, who missed a pair of games a week and a half ago due to a hip pointer, struggled in his return on Wednesday as he favored his hip. Then, the 22-year-old wing exited Friday’s game three minutes into the Wolves’ blowout victory over Memphis.
Edwards and Caruso were expected to get evaluated today to determine their status.
The Indiana Pacers will be without reserve guard Andrew Nembhard when they play the Los Angeles Lakers in the championship game of the In-Season Tournament. According to Pacers coach Rick Carlisle, Nembhard (bone bruise) is out for at least a week.
— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) December 10, 2023
Cleveland Cavaliers starting power forward Evan Mobley missed his first game of the season on Friday, a 12-point Cavs victory over the Heat. According to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor, Mobley, who also didn’t participate in Friday’s shootaround, could miss multiple games depending on how the 6-11 big man’s left knee responds to treatment. The Cavs next game is Monday in Orlando. If Mobley sits out again, Dean Wade will likely start in his place again.
Toronto Raptors forward Otto Porter Jr exited Friday’s game with a left foot contusion. It is the same foot that caused Porter to miss most of last season after he had surgery. However, X-rays were negative, per Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca. So we’ll see if Porter is forced to miss any time.
Porter went for X-rays and they were negative.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) December 9, 2023
Toronto (9-13) is off until Monday when the Raptors host the Knicks on Monday.
Ben Simmons, who will miss at least another week, feels better after getting an epidural injection for his lower back, and the Brooklyn Nets guard has moved to the next stage of his rehab, agent Bernie Lee told Brian Lewis of the New York Post on Friday.
“It definitely has helped. And just like time and progression has helped him as well,” Lee said. “He’s been doing well, slowly taking steps. He’s starting to move around a little bit now. He’s starting to be able to run on some underwater treadmill stuff. So he’s starting to get around and move.”
Point guard Chris Paul was a late scratch for Golden State as they fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime on Friday. Warriors coach Steve Kerr told The Athletic’s Anthony Slater that Paul sat out the contest due to a general illness. Presumably, Paul will be on the court when the Dubs face the Suns on Tuesday. Paul has missed three games this season.
Chris Paul is out tonight in Oklahoma City. General illness. Steve Kerr said he started feeling poorly earlier today.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 9, 2023