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New York Knicks’ OG Anunoby, Josh Hart Receive Game 7 Updates (Report)

The depleted New York Knicks could have some reinforcements back for one of the biggest games in recent memory for the franchise.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Knicks stars OG Anunoby and Josh Hart will be listed as questionable for the end of the Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday afternoon (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC).

The update on Anunoby is particularly optimistic: He was originally believed to be out for the remainder of the conference semifinal round due to a hamstring issue (which kept him out of each of the last four games), the report de Wojnarowski stated that the former Toronto Raptor has “made progress in his rehab” and plans to participate in the pregame shootaround that should determine his fate in Game 7.

Little more needs to be said about the way Anunoby’s arrival in late December revolutionized the Knicks’ fortunes: The team is 26-5 when he suits up and plays and had a strong performance in his most recent appearance in Game 2 by taking over on offense when Jalen Brunson missed the second half with a foot injury.

Also questionable is Hart, who left early in Friday’s Game 6 loss in Indianapolis with an abdominal strain.

“The expectation is that he will do everything in his power to try to play on Sunday, sources said,” Wojnarowski’s report on the Hart plan reads. “Even if milder, abdominal strains have limited treatment options, unlike ankle sprains or leg bruises that can be treated with ice and stimulation.”

To say the Knicks would be hard-pressed to replace Hart’s minutes would probably be an understatement: No one in the NBA has played more minutes in the new calendar year than Hart, who already has four complete games this postseason. Hart has been a stellar replacement for Julius Randle, who is one of three Knicks who will be out this year due to injuries (along with Bojan Bogdanovic and Mitchell Robinson).

((UPDATE: 8:30 pm ET)): Wojnarowski had more updates during ESPN’s NBA Countdown pregame show ahead of the Western Conference playoff game between Oklahoma City and Dallas, mentioning “real optimism” about Anunoby’s involvement.

“That left him with a hamstring strain, he’s been rehabbing it,” Wojnarowski told host Malika Andrews. “They told me he’ll go to shootaround tomorrow, he’ll try it out. But, unless he feels worse than he did today, I think there’s a real chance he could play for the Knicks.”

Wojnarowski reiterated that Hart’s situation is a little more difficult, since abdominal problems make even normal bodily functions (like coughing and sneezing) painful. He stated that while Hart will do “everything in his power” to participate, he will do so with inescapable discomfort.

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