One of the primary reasons the New York Knicks are currently in the postseason is thanks to All-Star Julius Randle, who has witnessed a significant transformation compared to 2020.
Last season, Randle averaged 19.5 points per game, but was inconsistent from the field, and shot a measly .277 from beyond the arc. The 26-year-old has completely revitalized his game, working all off-season to improve his shooting and efficiency in all categories.
Thanks to his rejuvenated career and stellar campaign, Randle won the league’s “Most Improved Player of the Year” award, thanks to 24.1 points, 6.0 assists, and 10.2 rebounds per game. He finished the regular season with a .456 field-goal percentage and a massive increase in the three-point category, ballooning to .411%.
“I thought he would have a good year, but I didn’t see this level,” Thibodeau said a few weeks ago.
“Obviously, the big thing was the three,” Thibodeau said of Randle’s improved three-point shot. “It stood out right away during the summer, but you’re in the gym when there’s no defenders. It looked a lot better coming off his hand, the arc was better, and he looked real comfortable with it.”
The Knicks are preparing to host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday evening in the second game of their first postseason series since 2013. Randle struggled significantly to get going, as the postseason jitters might have played a part. However, he vowed to return in game two with a vengeance, and if he can play like the All-Star caliber self we witnessed the entire regular season, the Knicks should walk away with a victory. They desperately need a win before heading to Atlanta.