After being sidelined for Game 1 of the Knicks‘ second-round series against Miami due to a left ankle sprain, forward Julius Randle said he had no intention of missing Game 2, writes Steve Popper of Newsday (subscriber link).
“Yeah,” Randle said. “There was no way I was sitting out of that one.
“It’s not really the pain, man. It’s just the getting back on the court. For me, it was not being able to do anything for a while. Getting my conditioning back … the recovery after, all while trying to nurse an injury. So mentally, it’ll take a toll on you. But my wife, my family, everybody in the organization — thankfully for me, I have a great supporting cast.”
Here are a few more notes out of New York:
- Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson was limited in Thursday’s practice due to right ankle soreness. However, he told reporters on Friday, including Popper (subscriber link), that he’s “ready to go” for Saturday’s Game 3. Popper heard that Randle and Brunson would not be listed on New York’s injury report and that was indeed the case — both players will be available tomorrow afternoon (Twitter links).
- Collin Helwig of NetsDaily.com takes a look at Mikal Bridges‘ chances of being selected to his first All-Star team in 2023/24, concluding that the Nets wing has a good shot to make it in as a reserve next season if he can continue his strong play from the second half of ’22/23.
- Australian national team head coach Brian Goorjian is optimistic about Nets swingman Ben Simmons playing at this summer’s World Cup, which starts in late August, according to Seb Mottram of SEN.com.au. “I think his (Ben’s) mindset is getting healthy, getting in shape and getting ready to play in this (World Cup),” Goorjian told 1170 SEN Afternoons. “… As we sit now, I think there is a really strong chance (that he plays at the World Cup).”
- ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that Simmons would like to compete for the Boomers at the World Cup, though that will depend on how his back rehab is progressing. Sources tell Windhorst that Simmons’ injury recovery is “going well” thus far. The three-time All-Star last played for the Nets on February 15 due to a nerve impingement in his back (he was also dealing with left knee soreness).