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How will Thibs shuffle the Knicks lineup if Grimes and Barrett miss time?

The Knicks have listed both players “questionable” to play Friday.

New York Knicks v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Coming out of Atlanta, the New York Knicks staffers, players, beat writers, and fans feared starting guard Grimes could miss some time.

The reason? QG stoutly defended a drive to the rim by Bogdan Bogdanovic in the fourth quarter seemingly suffering a hand injury (it was labeled a “bruised hand” by the Knicks on Wednesday).

Right after that play, Grimes grabbed his hand in clear pain, left the court, and walked straight to the Knicks locker room without ever coming back for the final minutes of the fourth quarter in New York’s win at the ATL.

Sandwiched between Wednesday’s win and Friday’s tip-off, the Knicks released a new update on Grimes’ status, confirming the guard has “a sprained left wrist” and listing him as “questionable” for Friday’s game against the Wizards in the capital of the nation.

It’s worth noting that this marks the first leg of back-to-back, on-the-road matchups for the Knicks as they keep roaming the USA while enduring a five-game road trip spanning a full week.

In related news, RJ Barrett is also listed as “questionable” to play Friday, having missed the last two games with migraines. There is no clarity about this because it’s not something that has a clear return timeline or can be predicted with pinpoint accuracy.

“If I [knew what spurred the migraine], I’d be a doctor,” Thibodeau said Wednesday. “But I don’t know. He’s under the weather.”

Assuming Barrett is back (which again, is literally “questionable” at the time of this writing) and considering the fact (bold, all caps) that Tom Thibodeau won’t expand the rotation to save his life, the solutions to make up for Grimes’ absences will come down to:

  • Start Josh Hart and RJ Barrett
  • Start Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett
  • Start Donte DiVincenzo and RJ Barrett

Now, if Barrett is also out for Friday and sits the game against the Wizards, what will Thibs do?

  • Start IQ and Hart?
  • Start DiVo and Hart?
  • Start IQ and DiVo?

By height, the order goes Quickley (6-foot-3), DiVincenzo (6-foot-4), Hart (6-foot-5). It’s fair to assume Hart would start if both Grimes and Barrett are out, but the two-guard spot would make for an interesting decision.

Will Thibs finally move IQ to the starting lineup?

Will Thibs rely on a hyper-small Brunson-Quickley-DiVo trio?

Will Thibs start Evan Fo—fuggetaboutit.

So what would you do? Which lineup would you start and use against the Wizards (and the Hornets, Saturday) if one or two of Grimes and Barrett are forced to miss some (more) time?

Let everybody know in the comments section below ahead of tonight’s tip-off to get the conversation going early and help our man Thibs, who once told us he reads our posts and comments daily.