Report: Julius Randle’s ankle injury not as severe as prior ailment, but fellow Knicks big man out for rest of playoffs

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When the New York Knicks and Miami Heat meet in the second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, it’ll be a battle of two teams that are pretty banged up.

On New York’s side, there’s some uncertainty about who will be available when the second round begins. The status of Julius Randle is perhaps the biggest storyline to keep an eye on, as he’s dealing with an ankle injury.

Fortunately for the 28-year-old, it sounds like his current ankle ailment isn’t terribly severe.

While the Randle news seems positive for the Knicks, they were also dealt some less fortunate news on Thursday, as the team announced that second-year big man Jericho Sims is done for the season.

Sims didn’t play in New York’s first-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, so the Knicks likely aren’t blindsided by losing him. Still, it’s a tough way for the youngster’s season to end. He averaged 3.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during limited playing time in the regular season.

Randle, on the other hand, is a player the Knicks are really going to want available against the Heat. Although the two-time All-Star struggled immensely during New York’s series against Cleveland, he’s capable of turning a game on its head when he’s at his best.

In the regular season, Randle averaged 25.1 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc.

The status of New York’s Quentin Grimes will also be worth monitoring as the Heat-Knicks series gets closer. Grimes missed his team’s last two games of the first round.

The Heat are going to be without both Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo in the second round. As a result, the team is going to need some unlikely heroes to continue to step up.

Of course, Miami is also going to need Jimmy Butler to keep playing like an MVP. In the first round, he averaged 37.6 points per game.

Game 1 between the Heat and Knicks will take place Sunday in New York. Both teams could really use the rest they’re currently getting. Hopefully, the second round will be full of energy and devoid of injuries.

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Jason has covered the NBA for multiple years and has plenty of memories involving the Miami Heat. He expects there will be winning basketball in South Florida for years to come.