New York Knicks offer key updates on Julius Randle and Quentin Grimes as Game 1 vs. Miami Heat approaches

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On Saturday, New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau offered health updates on Julius Randle and Quentin Grimes for Sunday’s series opener against the Miami Heat.

Randle has been trying to bounce back from a sprained ankle that he suffered during the Knicks’ March 29 game, which coincidentally came against the Heat. He missed the remainder of the regular season. Despite continuing to deal with pain, he returned to play in the Knicks’ playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Unfortunately for Randle, his return has largely been met with shooting struggles, with the veteran shooting just 33.8 percent from the field so far in the playoffs.

In New York’s Game 5 clincher against the Cavaliers, Randle showed signs that he was returning to form, with 13 points, six assists and four rebounds in just 16 minutes. That limited time on the court was due to Randle once again injuring his ankle.

Contrasting Randle’s uncertainty is the news that Grimes appears ready to get back on the court. Grimes missed the final two games of the series against the Cavaliers after suffering a shoulder contusion in the Knicks’ Game 3 win at Madison Square Garden.

In his three games against the Cavaliers, Grimes’ numbers were modest. His best all-around performance came in the Knicks’ only loss of the series in Game 2, when he totaled four points, three rebounds and three steals as well as a pair of assists.

The Heat have their own injury concerns to focus on, which include continuing to try to fill the gap left by the devastating injury to Tyler Herro. For Herro to even have a chance to play again this season, the Heat would likely have to reach the NBA Finals.

Herro’s injury took place in the first game of the Heat’s stunning series upset of the Milwaukee Bucks. That series victory was largely driven by the outstanding efforts of Jimmy Butler, performances that have helped him earn yet another nickname.

The road for Butler and the Heat gets no easier, with the Knicks having home-court advantage for the upcoming series. After Sunday’s Game 1 clash at Madison Square Garden, the two teams will face each other in Game 2 on Tuesday night.

The Heat and Knicks will then play the next two games of the series in Miami on Saturday, May 6 and Monday, May 8.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.