New York Knicks star Julius Randle has a reputation for dropping off in the playoffs, despite being the first player in franchise history to ever average 25/10/4 in the regular season.
Last season, due to a nagging ankle injury, Randle was not himself, shooting 37% from the floor and 25% from beyond the arc in the playoffs. Randle’s elite production is mandatory if the Knicks expect to be a top contender in the Eastern Conference.
Durability is essential to success
Head coach Tom Thibodeau’s defensive-minded and dedicated culture cultivated in New York is in part due to Randle. Debuting for New York in the 2020 season with a rookie RJ Barrett, Randle led the team to win 20 more games the next season and won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award.
The common theme with Randle is his lack of consistency in the NBA playoffs. The iso-heavy offense the Knicks prefer demands durability.
With the addition of Jalen Brunson and the growth of RJ Barrett, Randle can now operate based on matchups. He won’t have to dictate or decision make in every big moment. This perk gives New York the variety needed to compete with the best in the league and won’t tire Randle by playoff time.
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Julius Randle has tremendous value
Randle has become one of the league’s most underrated players. A passion for the game found far and few, Randle led the Knicks to the fifth seed, only missing five contests all season.
However, HoopsHype has Randle outside the top ten power forwards heading into this season. Players like Lauri Markkanen and Evan Mobley, with higher rankings, didn’t lead their teams past the first round of the playoffs.
The Knicks are constantly involved in trade rumors
Rumors have circulated all off-season concerning what the Knicks will do to take the next step. That be acquiring more scoring in the backcourt or assisting Randle by bringing in the reigning MVP to man the paint.
The New York Knicks are well aware of the threats they face to be the best in the East. The moves made by both Boston and Milwaukee have the media declaring the Eastern Conference a two-team race.