Julius Randle’s leave of absence will continue on Friday when the New York Knicks host the New Orleans Pelicans.
The New York Knicks will be undermanned for yet another game when the New Orleans Pelicans come to Madison Square Garden on Friday. According to the team, forward Julius Randle will miss his second-straight game for personal reasons.
In addition to Randle, the Knicks have a slew of major contributors on the injury report. Mitchell Robinson (sprained left great toe) is probable. Marcus Morris Sr. (sore neck) is questionable after missing the last two games.
Lastly, Dennis Smith Jr. (strained left oblique) is questionable after missing the last seven games. According to reports, Smith prefers to be traded and there are at least a few teams interested in the third-year point guard. It would not be a complete shock if Smith has played his last game in a Knicks uniform.
Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina have a firm grip on the starting and backup point guard roles, respectively. Unless the Knicks are interested in moving Smith off the ball, it’s going to be hard to find minutes for him in the rotation.
Much like the Knicks, the Pelicans will be shorthanded on Friday. According to New Orleans, Jrue Holiday (left elbow tricep strain) and Kenrich Williams (right lower back soreness) will be out. Not to mention, Zion Williamson (knee) and Darius Miller (Achilles) will both remain out of the lineup.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. ET after a late change to move the game up by 45 minutes.