Knicks: Tom Thibodeau pleased with Julius Randle’s response after missing potential game-winner

Julius Randle, New York Knicks
Dec 14, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) blocks Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams (44) at the end of the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Randle got a pass for missing the potential game-winner in the regulation during the New York Knicks128-120 overtime win in Chicago.

After all, he was hot with his third 30-point game in four games.

“He’s been on a great run, all the way around. He made so many good plays for us throughout the course of the game, and then to read that play [at the buzzer], which he did, and to put it on the line, that’s a big part of guys sacrificing for the team. There’s no stat for that.”

Tom Thibodeau postgame via MSG Network

Randle milked the clock before his stepback jumper from the right corner did not touch the rim, giving the Bulls a chance to steal the win with 0.7 seconds left.

Thibodeau thought it was a good shot.

“The thing is, if you bring a second guy over, they can trap. They also had a foul to give. So, get to your spot, take your shot and Julius did that. It’s a good look on that side.”

Tom Thibodeau postgame via MSG Network

Randle redeemed himself by foiling Patrick Williams’ lob at the buzzer and fell hard on his back.

“I was more tired than hurt. I’m just happy they didn’t get the lob.”

Julius Randle postgame via MSG Network

While Jalen Brunson took over in overtime, Randle still found a way to help close out the win. He did not force his way against a Bulls triple team defense and instead flung out a kick-out pass that led to Quentin Grimes’ clutch triple for a 125-119 breather.

“We just kept going, finding a way to win the game. We did a great job of getting timely stops and rebounds when we needed to, and guys hit timely shots.”

Julius Randle postgame via MSG Network

Randle finished with a game-high 31 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists. Except for the final moments of the regulation, when he drifted back to the isolation plays that plagued him and the Knicks last season, Randle is having a monster December, putting up 27.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 4.0 assists.

In this Knicks’ current five-game winning streak, Randle is averaging a double-double (28.6 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists).

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