Knicks Optimistic Julius Randle Will Return Before Playoffs

According to NBA reporter Fred Katz of The Athletic, the New York Knicks are optimistic Julius Randle will return before the 2024 playoffs. 

NBA, New York Knicks, Julius Randle
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Randle dislocated his right shoulder on January 27 against the Miami Heat.

“Also, it’s uncertain when Randle will return,” Katz wrote. “The Knicks have not provided a timetable, even though they are optimistic that he will come back at some point before the playoffs. He has yet to begin contact drills. If he does play again this season, we don’t know which Randle returns. Is it the All-NBA power forward that’s wreaked havoc on the league for most of his time in New York or is he only 75 percent of himself?”

Randle is averaging 24.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.3 blocks this season while shooting 47.2% from the field, 31.1% from beyond the arc and 78.1% from the free-throw line. He has 18 double-doubles and one triple-double. 

The Knicks are 42-28 on the season. They are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

If the regular season ended today, New York would face the Orlando Magic in the first round of the playoffs. 

The 29-year-old Randle joined the Knicks in the summer of 2019. He’s averaging 22.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.3 blocks in a New York uniform.

Randle won the 2020-21 Most Improved Player of the Year Award. According to Katz, Randle is “pushing hard” to return from his dislocated right shoulder.

“Behind the scenes, Randle is pushing hard to return,” Katz wrote. “His pain tolerance is without question ‘insane,’ as one person close to him recently described it, but he’s human. Maybe Randle can fight through anguish, but maybe fighting through it still affects him.”

The Knicks are 23rd in the NBA in points per game and second in points per game allowed. 

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