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Quentin Grimes (shoulder contusion) confirmed out for Game 4

No Game 4 for QG

Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Final UPDATE: Quentin Grimes is out, confirmed by the New York Knicks 30 minutes before tip-off. Josh Hart starts in his place.

UPDATE: Fred Katz of The Athletic is reporting from MSG that Quentin Grimes “never came out” for his pregame routine. He was scheduled to warm up at around 11:15, but one hour before tip-off he’s still to make the court. The Knicks keep saying it’s a “game-time decision,” although as Katz himself put it in his tweet, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Grimes is missing Game 4 or only playing under absolutely exceptional circumstances.

The New York Knicks blasted Cleveland in Game 3 of the first-round series between the two teams. One thing your boys couldn’t do, though, was count on Quentin Grimes for the second half of such a wonderful night inside (and outside) MSG.

Grimes left G3 with a shoulder contusion right before the halftime break and never returned, even though he was tagged with a questionable label in the injury report for the remainder of the game.

In his post-game presser, Tom Thibodeau didn’t rule Grimes out of Game 4, saying that the team would know more about the extent of the injury come Sunday morning.

Grimes is a game-time decision to play, though he will remain labeled as “questionable” in the official NBA injury report. Grimes will join Jericho Sims (sore shoulder) on that list, with the big man of the Knicks already ruled out for Sunday’s matinee.

Speaking after the game, Thibs said that “there’s a lot of contacts going through screens, so it could have happened on any one of those,” without knowing where and when the injury really happened.

However, on Saturday, Thibodeau was asked about Grimes’ status and he said that the guard was “feeling a little better” compared to Friday after Game 3.

In the event Grimes is entirely out of the rotation on Sunday afternoon, it would make sense to see Josh Hart taking on his starting role at the two-guard spot. That might open the door for Deuce McBride to get (more) minutes off the pine and enlarge his role.

The Cavs practiced inside MSG on Saturday, and J.B. Bickerstaff touched on Grimes’ potential absence from Game 3. “Obviously [Grimes] provides spacing for them, a defensive mindset,” coach Bickerstaff said. “If they go the same way with Josh Hart, Josh Hart has proven to be extremely impactful and impacts winning in a huge way.”

Coach JBB said that his team “will prepare and be ready for them,” no matter who makes it to the starting five and who comes off the bench.

Asked about how playing under the bright lights of MSG, Bickerstaff didn’t seem to buy the narrative about The Garden adding another hurdle for his inexperienced players to clear if they want to make it past the first round.

“I think a lot is being made of it,” Bickerstaff said. “It’s a gym, like any other gym. The baskets are 10 feet high. It’s 94 feet long, and the only thing that matters is what we do within those lines. All of that other stuff is just extra noise.”

The coach claimed he and his pupils “know what we have to do and what we can take from it and be better [on Sunday].” We’ll see how that goes.

Early tip-off today. It’s coming at 1:00 ET. Don’t miss it. And as @back put it in the comments section: “Don’t skip mass, go early, pray for the Knicks.” See you at the other end.