Knicks: Tom Thibodeau hints at displeasure towards Julius Randle

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) and head coach Tom Thibodeau against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It has been nothing short of a disastrous start to the season for New York Knicks forward Julius Randle and head coach Tom Thibodeau made some intriguing comments after Friday’s 110-105 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks that may have insinuated frustration building toward his star player.

Tom Thibodeau insinuates frustration toward Julius Randle

“You can’t say, ‘Well, I haven’t had a shot, so now I’m gonna take a shot.’ The game tells you what to do. If you’re open, you shoot. If there’s three guys around, you hit the open man. It’s really simple. It’s not hard,” said Thibodeau via The New York Post.

He did not direct the comments to Randle specifically, but his struggles have taken up almost the entire spotlight surrounding the Knicks’ 2-4 start to the season.

Randle’s poor start to the season is hurting the Knicks

On the season, Randle is averaging just 13 points and hones awful shooting percentages, such as 27% from the field and 22% from three.

There have been a handful of moments this season where fans have questioned both Randle’s effort and awareness level when on the court. For example, on Friday night against the Bucks, a 4-on-2 fastbreak for the Knicks was thwarted after Randle got the ball and stopped near the basket, settling for a heavily contested fadeaway that missed.

Other instances such as failing to make the extra pass or box-out for rebounds have occurred as well. NBA players make these kinds of mistakes routinely; it’s part of the game.

But for Randle, these struggles are uncharacteristic compared to what he was doing last season, where he made his second all-star appearance and received All-NBA third-team honors.

The bottom line is, that if Randle wants to win back the fans, he has to demonstrate better basketball IQ. He is clearly beginning to lose the trust of his head coach, and the only way to repair that is with better play.

Randle will have the opportunity to turn things around when he and the Knicks take on the Clippers on Monday night.

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