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#pounditFriday, March 1, 2024

Knicks have Julius Randle concern ahead of playoffs

Julius Randle smiles during a game

Nov 8, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) reacts against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first half at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Leff-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are sitting pretty right now in the top six of the Eastern Conference, but an injury curveball is threatening to ruin the vibes.

The team announced on Thursday that star big man Julius Randle suffered a sprained left ankle in the previous night’s win over the Miami Heat. Randle will be re-evaluated in two weeks, the team adds.

The former All-Star Randle was injured in the second quarter when he came down on the foot of Heat big man Bam Adebayo after grabbing a rebound. He was soon ruled out for the rest of the game after just 15 minutes played.

The good news for the Knicks is that the win over the 7-seed Heat gave them four games of clearance above the play-in tournament zone (with five games to play). It also clinched the season series over the Heat, handing the Knicks the tiebreaker and making it all but certain that they will have a top-six spot in the East.

But the bad news is Randle won’t even be re-evaluated until Apr. 13 and may still need additional time beyond that to ramp up for a return. The playoffs start on Apr. 15, and for the Knicks, who seem likely to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 4-5 first-round matchup, the concerns continue to stack up.


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