All-Star Julius Randle, who suffered left ankle sprains before and during a disappointing playoff run, underwent arthroscopic surgery on that same ankle Friday and will resume basketball activities before training camp.
Randle missed five regular season games and one in the playoffs because of the ankle sprains. He played through the pain in series against Cleveland and Miami, but the 28-year-old’s production was well below his standards.
After the Knicks were eliminated in six games by the Heat, Randle declined to say whether he was hampered by the ankle injuries.
“No, I’m not one to make excuses,” he said.
Before the first ankle sprain, Randle played every game and averaged 25.1 points, 10 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.8 turnovers while shooting 46% overall and 34.3% on 3-pointers. He earned his second All-Star appearance in three years and a spot on the Third Team All-NBA.
In the playoffs, however, Randle averaged just 16.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.5 turnovers while shooting 37% overall and 26% on treys.
It was a drastic drop-off. There were also a couple stretches where Randle’s defensive effort was lacking, and he was benched for the entire fourth quarter in a home victory over Cleveland.
“Some good moments, some moments to learn from,” Randle said about his playoffs. “Just got to evaluate and move forward and see what you can do as an individual to help the team move forward.”
Randle has proven fairly durable over his nine-year career. This represents his first surgery — at least the first one made public — since his rookie season.
Randle has three years and roughly $82 million remaining on his contract. The Knicks, meanwhile, are coming off their first playoff series victory in a decade with all their starters under contract.
“To me, when you lose in the end, there’s disappointment, that’s normal,” coach Tom Thibodeau said after the Knicks were eliminated. “But when you take a step back and you look at it in totality, which we will do, we’ll examine the things we did well, the things we didn’t do as well as we would’ve liked, we’ll formulate a plan to move forward and get focused there so we can get better.
“This is playoff basketball; we’re one of the final eight teams. That’s not the goal. So there’s a lot of work to be done, we understand that; But in the end, when all is said and done, there will be one team standing. Twenty-nine other teams will fall short. Then, next season, you start all over, you’re at a zero base. So it’s what you put into it again. So everyone’s going to go back to zero and we have to start all over and we have to work like crazy all offseason to get to the next season. The aspect of the disappointment, yeah we’d still like to be playing, that’s why we do it. If you’re a competitive person, that’s what you want. And we fell short and there’s disappointment but I think to look at it to say, ‘OK we learned a lot, let’s look at this as motivation, let’s get better, and that’s what you have to do.’”
Source: Berkshire mont