Julius Randle hoisted dozens of photographs from across the 3-point arc on the finish of Knicks apply on Friday, and Tom Thibodeau mentioned he’s “hopeful” that the staff’s main scorer could possibly be obtainable as quickly as Sport 1 of the second spherical Sunday in opposition to the Warmth.

“He didn’t do a lot in the present day, however he’s feeling slightly bit higher,” Thibodeau mentioned. “So he’ll undergo the rehab, see the place he’s [Saturday]. He’s higher in the present day than he was [Thursday], and that was a giant factor. So we’re hopeful.”

Randle suffered a sprained left ankle late within the second half of the Knicks’ Sport 5 victory in Cleveland on Wednesday, the identical damage that sidelined him for the ultimate 5 video games of the common season.

Thibodeau added that the Knicks’ lone All-Star additionally “did some cardio work within the pool and lifted” together with the spot taking pictures whereas sporting a supportive brace round his ankle.

Obi Toppin contributed 12 third-quarter factors after Randle’s departure in Sport 5 in Cleveland, and the previous lottery decide may earn his first profession postseason begin if Randle is unable to play.

Julius Randle shoots at Knicks apply
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Submit

Beginning taking pictures guard Quentin Grimes additionally practiced Friday after lacking the ultimate two video games in opposition to the Cavs with a contused proper shoulder.

He mentioned he hopes to return to the lineup Sunday in opposition to the Warmth.

“That’s the plan,” Grimes mentioned. “I went via the entire apply, so I’m feeling fairly good.”

Julius Randle at practice
Julius Randle at apply
Charles Wenzelberg/NY Submit

Grimes added that he was injured whereas making an attempt to battle via a display in Sport 3 in opposition to the Cavs, however an MRI examination dominated out a extra severe damage.

“Let’s see the place he’s [Saturday]. However he moved effectively in the present day,” Thibodeau mentioned.

Josh Hart logged 47 out of 48 minutes as the first defender in opposition to Donovan Mitchell within the ultimate win over the Cavaliers.

However the return of Grimes would give Thibodeau one other reliable perimeter defender in opposition to Jimmy Butler and the Warmth, in addition to the choice to begin and/or play each wing gamers in a smaller configuration if Randle can’t go.

Julius Randle shares a joke with RJ Barrett.
Julius Randle shares a joke with RJ Barrett.
Charles Wenzelberg/NY Submit

“He’s enjoying like the most effective participant within the league proper now,” Grimes mentioned of Butler. “It was powerful having to look at. I attempted to offer as a lot vitality from the sidelines as I can, however I knew all people was gonna maintain it down.”