Knicks power forward Julius Randle and shooting guard Quentin Grimes are both questionable for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals vs. the Heat, as relayed by Ian Begley of SNY.tv.
Game 1 is slated for Sunday in New York.
Randle re-aggravated a left sprain in the Game 5 vs. the Cavaliers in the first half and did not return. Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Randle’s ankle will have to improve “significantly” if he were to play on Sunday.
Begley reported initially that this injury is not as severe as the left ankle sprain that caused Randle to miss the final five games of the regular season. He started all 77 games before that, as well as all five of the Knicks’ first five playoff games after.
Coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters he is “hopeful” that Randle can play in Game 1 vs. the Heat, but it sounds like it will be a game-time decision.
“He didn’t do much today, but he’s feeling a little bit better,” Thibodeau said. “He’ll go through the rehab, see where he is (Saturday).”
Randle, 28, averaged a team-best 25.1 points and 10.1 rebounds during the regular season. But he struggled shooting the ball vs. the Cavs (34%), with his averages falling to 14.4 points and 6.4 rebounds.
Grimes, 22, suffered a shoulder contusion in Game 3 vs. the Cavs and missed the next two games. He struggled shooting in the series, averaging just 3.7 points — down from 11.3 points in the regular season.
“I went in a screen and kind of just got nicked up a little,” Grimes told reporters. “I thought it was fine to keep playing through but it kind of just kept getting worse and worse and worse so I couldn’t even lift a little bit.”
"I'm told that that there's gonna have to be some fairly considerable improvement between now and Sunday for Julius Randle to be available… This is the second time he has sprained this ankle."@wojespn on Randle's status for Game 1 of Knicks-Heatpic.twitter.com/QZuTM7yQog
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 28, 2023
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