Knicks star listed out for Game 3, another star questionable vs. Pacers

OG Anunoby is out for Game 3 and Jalen Brunson is questionable against the Pacers.
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game One
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The Pacers have no excuses to lose Game 3, as OG Anunoby has been ruled out due to a left hamstring strain.

In the third quarter of the Knicks' comeback Game 2 win, OG Anunoby went down with 3:47 left and with the Knicks up 90-81. At the time of his injury, Anunoby was lighting the Pacers up for 28 points on 10-19 shooting. Eventually, Anunoby was ruled out for the rest of the game with a sore left hamstring and did not play the rest of the game.

Despite this, the Knicks pulled away with the 130-121 win and went up 2-0 in the series. Following the game, the major concern around the series was centered around Anunoby's health, as he is the Knicks' second-leading scorer behind Jalen Brunson and perhaps their best defender. Eventually, a report came out that Anunoby will miss Game 3 of the series due to a left hamstring strain

Anunoby's absence for at least one game spells trouble for New York, as they have already been dealing with plenty of injuries in the playoffs and have now lost two of their three best players, with Julius Randle already ruled out for the playoffs earlier.

This leaves the Knicks with an even smaller selection of rotation players to choose from, as they may have to stick to a seven-man lineup and have no playable forwards outside of Josh Hart and Precious Achiuwa, both of whom will most likely be starting.

Additionally, after sitting out the second quarter due to a sore foot and playing the entire second half, Jalen Brunson is also questionable for Game 3 due to said sore foot. It is doubtful that he will miss this game, however, as New York has a chance to go up 3-0 in the series and put Indiana away for good.

Still, with Anunoby out, Indiana has no excuse to lose Game 3. The Knicks will most likely run their starting lineup even more and will have to reach deep into their bench to find options, such as Alec Burks, who played 44 seconds in the second quarter of Game 2.

With the Knicks' starters already playing heavy minutes, the Pacers have no excuse to not run as hard as possible and tire them out even more, as well as play better defense with the second scoring option being taken out of the picture.

Crucially, Indiana did play against the Knicks in the regular season with Anunoby, Mitchell Robinson, and Julius Randle out. That game was the only Knicks win in the regular season series, with Jalen Brunson scoring 40 points to lead a New York comeback win on February 1.


As we know, no team in NBA history has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit, and the Pacers most likely will not buck that trend. Indiana needs to win Game 3 to stay alive in the series, and the road just got a whole lot easier. There are no excuses this time around, no referees to blame, no rotations to mess up. Just 48 minutes of good basketball needs to be played.