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Knicks Lose Game 7 Despite Feeling Like They ‘Gave Everything They Had’

Throughout the majority of the season, despite the absence of their two-time All-NBA forward, starting center, and versatile wing stopper, New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau remained steadfast.

He’d say, “We have enough.” a lot. “It’s just next man up.”

After his team’s depleted roster lost Game 7 at home against the Indiana Pacers 130-109 on Sunday, Thibodeau finally admitted what had long seemed to be the reality.

“I thought guys gave everything they had, and that’s all you can ask,” he stated, acknowledging the Pacers’ victory in the series. “It was a battle all year, and there was nothing left to give.”

On Sunday, the squad faced an all-or-nothing match with three important players already out of the picture.

Julius Randle, a forward who was selected twice to the All-NBA team, suffered a dislocated right shoulder in late January, forcing him to miss the entire season. Mitchell Robinson, the center, was injured and needed ankle surgery earlier this month. He missed 50 games before returning for the playoffs and contributing significantly. Additionally, backup wing Bojan Bogdanovic suffered injuries during the team’s victory against Philadelphia in their first-round series, necessitating foot and wrist surgeries that sidelined him for the duration of the postseason.

As if those weren’t enough, the remainder of the rotation was also threatened by injuries, forcing them to play significant minutes while their teammates were away.

For Game 7, star defender OG Anunoby made his comeback after missing Game 2 due to an injured left hamstring. He appeared extremely stiff and stilted in his motions, especially while playing defense, so even though he made two 3-pointers in his four and a half minutes on the court, his decision to return soon seemed foolish.

Josh Hart, the iron man, survived the decisive match despite being doubtful for Game 7 following his partial absence from Game 6 due to an abdominal injury. However, late in the third quarter, Jalen Brunson, the team’s standout floor general, broke his hand while attempting to guard Tyrese Haliburton of Indiana. Ultimately, that setback proved to be too significant to overcome, especially considering the Knicks’ need to make up ground.

With five or six minutes remaining in the third quarter, the game was still only 11 or 12 points, according to guard Donte DiVincenzo. DiVincenzo, who sealed his career-best season with 39 points in Game 7, stated, “I don’t want to discredit them at all.” “That’s our mindset as an organization: Everybody we put out there is going to give 110%, and we have a system and core principles that, if you believe in them, you give yourself a shot in every game.”

The Knicks’ atmosphere has definitely changed, despite missing out on what would have been their first conference finals appearance since 2000. Anunoby and center Isaiah Hartenstein are unrestricted free agents this summer, and Thibodeau’s deal needs to be extended, but the team has the assets and cap flexibility to potentially take a step forward.

This Knicks team has an identity and gave the Garden its all, paying homage to the gritty, 1990s Knicks clubs that New York City fell in love with. After nearly 20 years of defeat, poor leadership, and foolish bargaining, the Knicks are optimistic that they may achieve more in the years to come.

“I think [the future] is very bright, and there’s hope for what we’re building,” Hart stated. “The offseason is a business, and there are decisions that are going to be made. Guys are going to be coming in and going out. But we’ve been built a foundation of a franchise that’s going to be fighting, and that’s moving in the right direction. It’s tough to end it this way, but we’re going in the right direction, and we’re giving this city and the fans something to hope for.”

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