Status of Knicks’ Julius Randle Up in Air for Start of Series vs. Heat

Knicks power forward Julius Randle may or may not be ready to go for Game 1 vs. the Heat on Sunday after re-spraining his left ankle in the series vs. the Cavaliers, as relayed by Peter Botte of the New York Post.Julius Randle passes out of a double team from Evan Mobley and Caris LeVert

Randle suffered the injury in the Knicks’ series-clinching Game 5 win over the Cavaliers on Wednesday. He fell to the ground, clutching at the ankle in the first half and exited the game, not to return.

It’s been reported 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 had not offered an update as of Thursday evening, Botte noted.

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.

New York, which finished with the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference, will have home-court advantage against Miami, which finished with the eighth seed.

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