The New York Knicks are fresh off a 125-109 win over the Heat, putting their record with OG Anunoby in the lineup at 12-2. Knicks fans should feel like they're on top of the world right now, but an injury late in the game has them feeling more concern than joy.
With less than five minutes to play, Julius Randle was driving to the basket. Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. attempted to take a charge, which resulted in Randle landing hard on his right shoulder. Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart pulled Randle up using his left arm, and Randle immediately walked off the court, holding his right shoulder in pain.
Randle's reaction to the injury told Knicks fans everything they need to know. Remember, he played through an ankle injury in the playoffs that required offseason surgery. If there's even a small chance he's able to play, he'll fight through the pain to be on the floor.
After the game, Thibodeau said Randle was being evaluated by the team's medical staff. When Thibs was asked how concerned he was, he said, "Very."
Julius Randle leaves Knicks win over Heat with right shoulder injury
As Thibodeau said, anytime a player gets injured, he's concerned. However, he knows how Randle is, making his reaction to the injury more concerning.
Randle has played in at least 71 games in the past three seasons. He was close to playing in all 82 last season (for the second time in his career) before he injured his ankle against the Heat late in the regular season. Who knows if he would've played in all 82 contests, considering the Knicks locked in their No. 5 playoff seed before the regular season concluded.
He's played in all 46 of New York's games this season, but he's certain to miss time now. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Randle has a dislocated right shoulder but that, luckily, the "X-Ray didn't show much damage."
Here's to a speedy recovery for Randle!