With the intense play-in tournament coming to an end, the playoffs to determine the main character of the NBA Finals throne begin on the 16th (Korean time).
With the opening of this PO starting with the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers, it is news that Julius Randle (28, 203cm) will not be able to participate in the first game due to a left ankle injury in the face-to-face match between the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers. In fact, Randall has been absent since the end of the regular season due to an ankle injury.
According to reports from American media such as ESPN and Sportsnet New York (SNY), Randle is said to be steadily recovering with the goal of the first leg of the PO. Coach Tom Thibaudou also said, “Randall started running and is gradually recovering.” However, it is unknown whether he will participate in the first round. Randle is currently in a ‘questionable’ state, and it seems that his participation will be decided right before the start of the game.
This season, Randle achieved his career high in most records, recording 25.1 points (FG 45.9%), 10.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists in an average of 35.5 minutes in 77 regular league games. Randall’s injury issues are, of course, bad news for New York. For reference, in the regular league match this season, New York led Cleveland with 2 wins and 1 loss.
In addition, the confrontation between the Sacramento Kings and the defending champion Golden State Warriors, who made it to the playoffs for the first time in 16 years, is also drawing attention from many. This season, De’Aaron Pax (25, 190cm) and Domantas Sabonis (26, 211cm) showed off hot offensive basketball with one-two punches. However, since young players, including Pax, form the main axis, the fact that most of the players lack playoff experience is expected to be a variable.
On the other hand, defending champion Golden State had a rollercoaster-like season this season with a series of injuries and erratic performances. Good news came as veterans such as Stephen Curry (35, 188cm), Klay Thompson (33, 198cm), and Draymond Green (33, 198cm) were desperately in need. Andrew Wiggins (28, 201cm), who disappeared for nearly two months due to family issues, confirmed his return to the court in time for the first round series with Sacramento and PO. Wiggins already joined the team about 10 days ago and spurred preparations for his comeback. On the 16th, NBA.com’s injury report did not mention Wiggins’ name. However, it has not been determined how far it will run.
Manager Steve Kerr told ESPN,안전놀이터 “There may be a limit to the playing time. He said, “I think I will have to watch Wiggins’ physical condition on the day of the game.” In addition, coach Kerr also conveyed Wiggins’ physical condition, saying, “Looking at the way he trains, he doesn’t seem to be in bad shape.”
After training on the 15th, Wiggins also said, “I don’t know if I will start or come off the bench, but I am ready to do whatever the team needs.” Ironically, in the regular league matchup, Golden State, a lower seed, has a clear advantage over Sacramento with 3 wins and 1 loss. [Injury update as of 0:30 a.m. on April 16, Korea time]