Julius Randle Ruled Out for Remainder of New York Knicks’ Season

The New York Knicks have shut down their power forward Julius Randle for the final five games of the regular season due to a recent ankle injury. He is set to be re-evaluated within two weeks, with the aim of having him ready for the upcoming playoffs, expected to begin on April 15. His teammate, Jalen Brunson, spoke highly of Randle, noting his determination to recuperate as quickly as possible, calling him a “warrior”.

The Knicks currently stand in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings, with a 45-33 record. They are just three games behind the fourth-place Cleveland Cavaliers, and have a 2.5-game lead over the sixth-place Brooklyn Nets.

In the wake of Randle’s injury, Obi Toppin has been promoted to the starting lineup, with backup big man Jericho Sims also likely to see an increase in playing time. Toppin is a native New Yorker, selected with the #8 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and has become a fan favorite at Madison Square Garden.

Jalen Brunson has been cooking without Randle, scoring a career-high 48 points in the Knicks’ recent 14-point road victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was an impressive team effort, with seven members of the team scoring double digits in the first game without Randle.

The win was particularly significant as the two teams are expected to face off in the first round of the playoffs. The Cavaliers have a virtual lock on the #4 seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Knicks are likely to be the #5 seed.

Looking ahead to the postseason, the Knicks are currently given +10000 odds to win the NBA championship, according to DraftKings’ NBA futures board. They are rated with a 2% chance of winning the championship, and 4% likelihood of advancing to the NBA Finals. If they manage to win the first round matchup, they would probably be up against the #1 seed in the conference semifinals, likely either the Bucks or Celtics. The Knicks have only won one playoff series since their appearance in the 2000 NBA Finals.

Despite the setback of Randle’s injury, the Knicks remain the sixth-best betting team this season with a 43-32-3 record against the point spread.