Both players were listed as questionable on Monday.
Tom Thibodeau says Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle are game-time decisions. Medical staff will make the call.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 2, 2023
The Knicks didn’t have Randle in Game 1 of this series after he aggravated his ankle injury in Game 5 of the first round against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Randle sat out the entire second half of that game with the injury.
The All-Star forward originally injured his ankle on March 29 against the Heat at Madison Square Garden. He missed the Knicks’ final five games of the regular season before returning for Game 1 against the Cavs.
Brunson, who played in Game 1 against Miami, appeared to have injured his ankle during that game.
The Heat certainly would benefit from either of these players sitting out, especially since star Jimmy Butler is out for Miami on Tuesday night with the ankle injury that he suffered at the end of Game 1.
Heat star Jimmy Butler is out for Game 2 vs. Knicks due to sprained ankle.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 2, 2023
With Butler out, the Heat will rely heavily on Bam Adebayo, Gabe Vincent and Kyle Lowry to carry their offense.
For the Knicks, the team would likely start Obi Toppin again at power forward in place of Randle if he can’t go. Toppin finished Game 1 with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field (4-for-11 from beyond the arc), eight rebounds and one steal.
If Brunson sits, Sixth Man of the Year finalist Immanuel Quickley would likely be thrust into the starting lineup for New York. The former first-round pick started 21 games for the Knicks during the regular season.
In those matchups, Quickley averaged 22.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. He started against the Heat on Feb. 2, but he struggled from the floor in that game, shooting just 3-for-8. He finished the contest with eight points, six rebounds, four assists and one turnover.
The Heat are in a good spot after stealing Game 1 on the road, and they may be able to win on Tuesday if Randle or Brunson can’t go.
The Knicks and Heat are scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, May 2 from Madison Square Garden in New York.