On Thursday morning, the New York Knicks received some devastating news when it was announced that power forward Julius Randle would miss the remainder of the season after undergoing right shoulder surgery, as initially reported by NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Randle had been out of the lineup since late January after sustaining the injury in a game vs the Miami Heat, but there was some optimism that the All-Star could return before a potential Knicks playoffs run this spring, along with small forward OG Anunoby, who has also missed extensive time due to injury.

Not to be.

One person who was devastated about the news was none other than sports media personality and occasional Knicks fan Stephen A. Smith, who took to ESPN's First Take to express his sadness at the Randle update.

“24 and nice, 47 percent shooting,” said Smith, via ClutchPoints on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter. “OG Anunoby arrives, you've got the best record in the month of January. You've got an opportunity with Milwaukee looking suspect, Miami looking suspect at times, Joel Embiid injured. They had a chance to get to the Conference Finals against Boston and then this happens. You can't make it up, man.”

Indeed, the Knicks have dealt with some brutal injury luck this season, including to both Randle and Anunoby along with center Mitchell Robinson, who only recently returned from an injury that kept him out of the majority of the campaign. In those absences, Jalen Brunson has had to do the majority of the heavy lifting and has mostly done an admirable job of that for New York, as the team still has a legitimate chance to secure a top four seed in the Eastern Conference ahead of the upcoming playoffs.

How far can the Knicks go?

Before the injury bug hit, the Knicks looked like one of the best teams in the NBA following their trade acquisition of OG Anunoby from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for a package centered around RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley. Among their more impressive performances was a near-40 point win over the reigning NBA champion Denver Nuggets at home in Madison Square Garden.

At this point it's unclear whether or not Anunoby will be able to return after re-aggravating an elbow injury that caused him to miss extensive time shortly after his arrival. The absence of Randle will mean that Brunson won't have a reliable secondary shot creator, although it should be noted that Randle has flamed out in historic fashion in each of his two postseason appearances with the franchise, causing some fans to go so far as to tear down and stomp on his poster outside of Madison Square Garden following last year's playoff implosion vs the Miami Heat.

In any case, the Knicks now have just over a week remaining to try to secure themselves home court advantage in the first round, and it's still certainly possible even with the injuries that the team could find themselves at least in the conference semifinals if things pan out favorably.