New York Knicks forward Julius Randle is likely to miss Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semi-final clash with the Miami Heat due to a sprained left ankle. While the Knicks have listed Randle as a game-time decision, there is little to no expectation that he will be able to recover in time for the game on Sunday. Head coach Tom Thibodeau had previously expressed his hope that the All-Star would be available for the series opener.
Randle’s ankle was originally injured during a victory over the Heat on March 29, and he subsequently missed the remainder of the regular season. Although he did return for Game 1 of the Knicks’ first-round matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers, he struggled to find his form and make much of an impact. Despite this, the team still managed to win the series 4-1 and advance to the conference semi-finals.
Randle’s absence will be keenly felt by the Knicks, especially given his status as one of the NBA’s standout performers this season. He averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game during the regular season, establishing himself as the team’s unquestioned leader. The Heat will be undoubtedly be hoping to capitalize on his absence and take an early lead in the series.