MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The good news is that Quentin Grimes believes his return to the Knicks is imminent. The bad news is that he felt good enough to return last week too, then the discomfort in his sore left foot came back.
The second-year guard returned to practice last week. He played in the Knicks’ final preseason game Friday, but didn’t feel right, and he hasn’t practiced since. Grimes said an MRI exam taken at the end of September only showed inflammation, and he believes he is close to returning to practice.
“It feels pretty good. It feels good every day, resting as much as I can with it,” Grimes said before the Knicks lost their regular-season opener Wednesday night, 115-112 in overtime, to the Grizzlies. “Getting as much treatment as I can with it, so it feels really good right now. Just have to monitor, not do too much on it so it doesn’t get too sore, stuff like that.”
Grimes said the foot was an issue even before training camp and grew worse after the first practice. The Knicks are still listing him as day-to-day and have declined to say how soon he could play in a game.
“What we are trying to avoid is in and out. We want to make sure when he’s back, he’s back,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “So we’re going to be patient and we’ll let him get through it and just follow the plan.”
Mitchell Robinson declined to blame the officials for his abbreviated 13-minute debut, preferring to avoid a fine. Asked what he thought of the whistles that caused him to foul out with just four points, the Knicks center took blame.
“I got to be better,” he said. “I’m going to take full responsibility on that one…. The stuff that I already know, opening night, just got to get back to it.”
In Robinson’s place, Isaiah Hartenstein played well — finishing with 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 40 minutes. But the new center was critical of his rebounding on a night when the Knicks were beaten on the glass by 10.
“I need to rebound better,” he said. “I’ll take that on myself, I have to do a better job on that.”
The Grizzlies were without a number of key players: star forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (right foot), as well as wings Dillon Brooks (left thigh soreness), Danny Green (left knee) and Ziaire Williams (right knee soreness).
Grizzlies star Ja Morant thought the game should have ended in regulation, after he hit a layup with 0.5 seconds on the clock. Instead, he was called for a charge after barrelling over Jalen Brunson in the lane and the game went to overtime.
“That is a block for sure. [Brunson] even told me, that is what was crazy,” Morant said. “Told me I jumped around him, so we were not supposed to play that extra five minutes.”
Asked about the play, Brunson had a different take.
“He almost avoided it, but I just got in position and was able to get the call,” Brunson said.
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