New York Knicks provide injury updates ahead of Game 1 vs. Miami Heat'
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The New York Knicks received some positive injury news ahead of Sunday’s Game 1 against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

New York lost All-Star forward Julius Randle to an ankle injury earlier this season in a game against the Heat on March 29. Randle returned for the team’s first-round series after missing the last five games of the regular season, but he re-injured the ankle in Game 5 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

However, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is “hopeful” that the two-time All-Star will be able to play in Game 1.

“He didn’t do much today,” Thibodeau said of Randle. “He’s feeling a little bit better to go through the rehab, see where he is tomorrow. He’s better today than he was yesterday, and that was the big thing. So, we’re hopeful.”

The Knicks certainly are hoping Randle can return at some point in the series if he can’t go in Game 1, especially since the team isn’t used to playing without him. Randle appeared in 77 of the team’s 82 regular season games in the 2022-23 campaign.

New York is a fairly deep team, and it would likely move Hart or Obi Toppin into the starting lineup if Randle is unable to go on Sunday because of his ankle injury.

The Knicks have also been without guard Quentin Grimes, who injured his shoulder in Game 3 of the first round against the Cavs.

The second-year guard practiced in full on Friday, which is a positive sign for his chances to play against the Heat.

Grimes missed Games 4 and 5 in the series against Cleveland, thrusting Hart into the starting lineup. However, it appears he should be good to go for Sunday’s Game 1 matchup.

This is great news for the Knicks, as Grimes is one of the players who will likely attempt to slow down Jimmy Butler on defense.

During the regular season, the Knicks beat the Heat in three out of their four matchups. Miami is down two key players in Tyler Herro (broken hand) and Victor Oladipo (torn patellar tendon), so it’s going to need others to step up again to win this series.

Game 1 between the Knicks and Heat is scheduled to tip off at 1 p.m. EST on Sunday, April 30.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.