The New York Knicks watched Karl-Anthony Towns tantalize them up and down the court on Tuesday night, the team’s second-straight loss despite a resilient offensive effort. However, the Knicks’ energy wasn’t enough, even with a roaring MSG crowd, a group desperate to get behind Julius Randle and let bygones be bygones.
Randle had a solid game, recording 21 points, 9 assists, 9 rebounds, and four blocks.
More often than not this season, the bench has come to the aid of the starters, but they struggled significantly against the Timberwolves. Alec Burks posted a big, fat zero on the scoreboard, missing the team’s final shot of the game from 3-PT range despite only needing two.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau hasn’t been able to replicate the success from last season with his perceived star players regressing to the mean. The reality is simple, Thibs needs a star and one that fits his mold.
That player was always Karl-Anthony Towns, who drew rave reviews from his former coach before Tuesday’s game.
“He’s as gifted as they come,” Thibs said, via Ian O’Connor of The Post. “He’s a 7-footer that has guard skills. He can shoot the 3 like a guard. He can put it on the floor like a guard. He can make plays. He can post up. He’s a great offensive rebounder. … You’ve got to guard him with your team.”
Thibodeau worked KAT to the bone during his time with the Timberwolves. There may be a perceived notion that Thibodeau and KAT had beef, but O’Connor reports the relationship between the two isn’t bad at all.
Would Thibodeau want a Round 2 with the center after such a messy end to Round 1? One person close to the Knicks coach said that Thibs might need would some convincing from Leon Rose, Towns’s former agent, to agree to a deal. A second person close to the coach said that Thibs’ relationship with the center in Minnesota wasn’t half as bad as it was portrayed and that he would welcome a reunion.