Getty Images

The New York Knicks have dropped back-to-back heartbreaking games over the last couple days, serving as the best example of how poorly they miss OG Anunoby and Julius Randle, who have all been out with injury. And while Shams Charania reports that Anunoby is more likely to return to the court earlier than Randle, Knicks forward Josh Hart said the team is not necessarily banking on those key players coming back this season.

After the Knicks' Sunday loss to the Thunder, in which Shai Gilgeous-Alexander nailed a tough go-head jumper in the closing seconds of the game, Hart was asked about the Knicks' performance recently without multiple starters.

"I'm looking at it like this is the team we're going to have," Hart said. "I think that's how we have to approach it, that those guys aren't coming back and obviously we'll be pleasantly surprised if they come back."

Charania reports that Anunoby's elbow injury is a matter of when the inflammation comes down to make it comfortable for him to play, so perhaps a return could be on the horizon. He's been out for two different stretches, one that cost him 18 games, and the most recent absence being seven games. 

He's been a key reason for the Knicks' success after being dealt from Toronto to New York back in late December, so getting him back would be a significant win for the Knicks. For Randle, Charania reports that he hasn't done anything more than controlled contact drills, which means his return could be further away. Randle's been out since January with a dislocated shoulder, and as the team's second-leading scorer, the Knicks could certainly use his 24 points per game not just as the regular season winds down but in the playoffs. 

"I'm not in those medical conversations or anything like that, so I don't know shit from shit," Hart said. "But we've got to approach every game and the end of this season that those guys aren't coming back, and if they do, be pleasantly surprised."

While Hart's comments could seem like the Knicks are prepping for neither of those players to return, it could also be seen just as the team focusing on the players they have at their disposal right now. It does the Knicks no good to be more focused on the daily injury reports, especially with the Orlando Magic just a game back of the No. 4 spot which the Knicks currently possess. 

Obviously, though, getting both Randle and Anunoby back would do wonders for New York's chances of making a deep playoff run. But the reality is neither are healthy right now, so they have to do the best with what they've got. Which means other players around Jalen Brunson need to step up in order to string together some wins at the end of the season.