Knicks hit with massive blow as All-NBA forward undergoes season-ending surgery

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) is helped by medical staff after an injury during the second half against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have lost three consecutive games and desperately need reinforcements. Star point guard Jalen Brunson has done all the heavy lifting, but he’s missing his complementary pieces, Julius Randle and OG Anunoby.

Unfortunately, the Knicks were hit with another stroke of bad luck on Thursday, with Randle being ruled out for the remainder of the season, undergoing season-ending surgery.

With the Kicks sitting in the 5th seed, just two games above the Miami Heat, they need to pick up a few wins before the season inevitably comes to an end and they face a grueling playoff circuit.

Talent Isn’t an Issue for the Knicks, Health is

The Knicks have enough talent to sneak by against some teams, but more challenging competition will pose major problems without some of their star players.

Anunoby is still hopeful of returning this year, but his elbow injury continues to flare up, and he was shut down again last week. With him available, the Knicks would at least have an elite defense to work with, relying on some of their perimeter scorers and Brunson to carry most of the offensive load.

However, they are sorely missing Randle’s impact. The All-NBA forward has played just 46 games this season, averaging 24 points, 9.2 rebounds, five assists, and was shooting .472 from the field and .311 from beyond the arc. They’ve tried to distribute his minutes and production to perimeter players, notably Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart, but it simply isn’t the same.

The squad may have to eye the 2024–25 season as their bounce-back, hoping to retain Anunoby on an extension and get Randle back to full health following a lengthy off-season of rehabilitation. At the end of the day, the Knicks have the talent to win a championship, they just need a bit of luck in the health department, which they certainly haven’t had this season.

Of course, the year is certainly far from over, but who’s to say the Knicks can’t find another gear during the playoffs?

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