Update: Here’s what Randle had to say after the game. It’s still a questionable decision from Thibodeau to leave him in the game but there was a reason he was in. He expects to play in Game 3.
Julius Randle said his back is fine. He said he asked to stay in the game late in the 4th quarter to get his legs/rhythm after missing two weeks due to ankle injury.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) April 19, 2023
New York Knicks forward Julius Randle appeared to suffer a back injury late in the team’s blowout Game 2 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, sparking plenty of questions and some tension between the two teams. Here’s a look at the play which Randle appeared to get hurt on.
Why does Thibs have Julius Randle in the game !? pic.twitter.com/oXapMk0TyM— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) April 19, 2023
Having any relevant players on the court in a 20-point hole with about two minutes left in the game is not smart, especially a guy who just came back from an injury. This is classic Tom Thibodeau though, and fans might remember he did something similar with star point guard Derrick Rose when he was head coach of the Chicago Bulls. Thibodeau has a reputation for riding with his veterans for long stretches of the game, and that’s likely the case here.
Surely, Randle won’t come back for the rest of this game. We’ll see if he suffered a major injury or just had a minor scare ahead of Game 3. This series is tied 1-1, and Jarrett Allen’s block that potentially hurt Randle turned up the tension between the two teams just a bit more.