Knicks’ Julius Randle taking patient approach to heavy back-to-back schedule

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) reacts during the third quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Madison Square Garden
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have their fourth back-to-back set coming up after tonight’s matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, and with the early schedule taking a toll, Julius Randle is committed to taking things one day at a time.

Knicks’ Poor Shooting in Second Half of Back-to-Backs A Sign of Tired Legs?

Randle told Peter Botte of the New York Post that the frequency of back-to-backs early on has been daunting, but he is focused on being patient until the schedule clears up:

“Another two coming up. It’s crazy,” Julius Randle said. “It’s tough but you can only take things a game at a time. We’ll be fine. We’re built for it. We’ve got guys who are workers, who are warriors. In the end, it’ll always balance out and we’ll be fine.”

The Knicks are 3-0 in the first leg of back-to-backs and winless in the back half of them all. This has been a negative trend as fatigue and injuries have seemingly hampered the Knicks’ ability to win with no time off in between games.

Poignantly, the Knicks have shot 37.5 percent from the field and 26.4 percent from outside in those losses. However, they were able to improve from beyond the arc against the Boston Celtics on Nov. 13 by shooting 41.9% in the game.

Personally, Randle has gone 2-19 from deep in that span. While he’s overcome a sluggish start, he along with the rest of the Knicks must prioritize easy looks to avoid shooting themselves out of games when tired.

Knicks Poised to Put Ugly Losses Behind Them Against Easier Competition

Things could take a turn with the Knicks being winners of their last three contests. The Knicks will face a Hawks team that may miss former All-Star Trae Young for yet another game as he deals with the birth of his daughter.

They’ve already bested the Hawks at full strength and improving their win streak to four games would prime them to sweep their consecutive matchups against the Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets.

The Wizards (2-8) allow teams to shoot the third-highest field goal percentage against them at 49.4 percent and concede a whopping 13.7 offensive rebounds a night. Both of which will be conducive to a Knicks’ team that gets up 16.6 second-chance points per game, good for No. 5 league-wide.

The Knicks will then take on the 3-7 Hornets on the road. The Hornets are 1-4 at home. They shoot 32.1 percent from deep as a team. If the Knicks can continue to limit their ability to connect from outside and force turnovers, New York can put their back-to-back woes to bed.

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