Julius Randle did not have the best of games on Saturday night as the New York Knicks pulled off a major upset against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of their opening-round NBA Playoffs matchup. The fact that the Knicks star was playing through an ankle injury likely had a significant impact on Randle’s poor shooting night. If you ask coach Tom Thibodeau, however, the Knicks shot-caller had nothing but praise for his All-Star power forward.
Randle actually came into Game 1 as questionable after missing the Knicks’ last five games of the regular season. It’s the playoffs, though, so you just knew that there was no way he was going to sit out Game 1. Apparently, Thibodeau knew all along that Randle was going to suit up against the Cavs:
“You’re gonna get everything he has,” coach Thibs said, via ClutchPoints on Twitter. “… I knew if he could go, he would go. That’s Julius… He had a very strong start to the game.”
“You’re gonna get everything he has… I knew if he could go, he would go. That’s Julius… He had a very strong start to the game.”
—Tom Thibodeau, on Julius Randle’s return to the courtpic.twitter.com/ZVLJcEHpTu
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 16, 2023
Randle started off strong in Game 1, but he eventually fizzled out. The 28-year-old finished with a respectable 19-point, 10-rebound double-double, with four assists, two steals, and three triples. Randle went just 7-of-20 from the field, though, and it’s possible that his ankle injury played a key role in his inefficient evening. Be that as it may, Julius Randle was still integral to the Knicks as they scored an unexpected upset against Cleveland on their own home floor.
New York fans are hoping that Randle’s ankle heals up over the next few days as they prepare for Game 2 on Tuesday. At this point, it’s advantage to the Knicks.
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