Knicks: Julius Randle could earn another All-NBA selection

Julius Randle, New York Knicks
Dec 25, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) dribbles up court against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks power forward Julius Randle is having a career season, thanks in large part to his play over the past month or so.

His overall season totals are superb, averaging a career-high 24.4 points per game, 10 rebounds per game, and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 46.2% from the field (his highest as a member of the Knicks) and 35% from beyond the arc, as well as owning a career-high plus/minus of +2.3.

Since the beginning of November, Randle ranks amongst the top 6 in the NBA in points, rebounds, and three-pointers made. He is not only having his best personal season, he is also having one of the better seasons out of any other player in the entire NBA this season, and this prolonged stretch of stellar all-around play demonstrates that he is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, which could land him another All-NBA selection at season’s end.

There is still a way’s to go this season, as we are just now approaching the halfway mark. However, this point of the season means that conversations about season accolades are no longer premature.

Randle is no stranger to being amongst the league’s best, earning an All-Star selection and All-NBA second-team selection and winning the league’s Most Improved Player award in 2021 after averaging 24/10/6 and shooting 41.1% from three-point range. Now, a lot of people probably can say that averaging six assists and shooting over 40% from three was an anomaly for him and was unlikely to repeat itself.

While part of that could be true, Randle is proving why he is still dominant amongst those at his position. Despite the talent around the league growing tremendously since Randle’s 2021 season, he is ranking 19th in the entire NBA in points per game and is 5th in the league in that category amongst power forwards.

His 35% three-point percentage ranks 13th in the NBA among power forwards. Out of that top 13, only Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz averages more points than Randle, making the Knicks’ star one of the most effective three-point shooters at his position.

Looking at rebounding, Randle’s 10.0 RPG ranks 10th in the NBA amongst everybody, not just power forwards. If we shrink the rankings down to just power forwards, Randle ranks third in the NBA in RPG. He is easily one of the best rebounders in the game, and it is more impressive to see, considering how he shares the floor with a 7-footer in Mitchell Robinson more often than not.

Randle is also one of the better passers at his position, as his 3.8 APG ranks 6th amongst power forwards. He has a turnover/assist ratio of 1.46, and a 17% assist percentage, and while those numbers are slightly lower than his 2021 season, it is worth noting that he has had to take care of the ball precipitously less now that he has Jalen Brunson playing alongside him. The fact that he is still able to find his way into a decent amount of assists each and every game is a testament to his exceptionally versatile skillset.

Which All-NBA team could Randle make?

Well, for starters, an All-Star selection this season should be a no-brainer, given what he has done overall this season and for his contributions to what is a winning Knicks team right now. For Randle to gain his second All-NBA selection, he will likely have to do a bit more than what he is doing right now. That is not an indictment on what he’s done, but rather a testament to the plethora of talent that exists across the NBA.

To put it bluntly, the only thing that could prevent him from making any of the three All-NBA squads would be simply because players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pascal Siakam, and Kevin Durant are in Randle’s way. It is very difficult to outperform the level of production players like them provide to their teams. Still, that doesn’t mean it is impossible for Randle to gain an edge over them.

His overall versatility and very solid efficiency for his position could help strengthen his case big time, and if he continues to do some of the ridiculous things he is currently doing, there is a real chance he could sneak into an All-NBA third team selection.

A third team selection seems more realistic for Randle rather than a first or second-team selection, as unless some very unfortunate or unforeseen circumstance occurs with Antetokounmpo or Durant, it is highly unlikely he will be able to surpass them. The competition at that position is rather fierce.

Still, a third-team selection would be a phenomenal feat for Randle, as that would make it his second All-NBA selection of his career, which is something that not too many players in the history of the game can say they did.

Will Randle’s career year land him another All-NBA selection? Only time will tell, but his superstar-worthy season deserves to be recognized accordingly, especially if it only continues to improve as the season concludes.

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