Randle cooling off returns Knicks to reality
Julius Randle has been the be all and end all for the Knicks so far in the 2020/21 season, through the first eight games of the season Randle averaged 23.1 PPG 12 RPG & 7.4 APG , during this time the Knicks won five of six games after starting 0-2. However the former lottery pick has dropped off slightly in the last three games, in which time New York has gone 0-3, not reached 90 points and lost by 12, 25 and 21 points respectively.
What this recent run shows us is that the Knicks are still very much a young team learning to play in the NBA, with Randle in all-star form others are capable of feeding off him and contributing on the score board but when Randle is having an off night nobody else is yet capable of taking over and leading the team to victory.
The Knicks are building for the future, they still have an overload of forwards and a lack of three point scoring but the process has begun. The likes of Julius Randle, Austin Rivers and Elfrid Payton are in New York to help develop the young core and lead the team to a few victories here and there. New York sports team always expect success but the Knicks haven't had a winning season or a playoff appearance since 2013. New York have so far failed to draft the next big superstar while also becoming a franchise that no established stars see as a viable option in free agency, the Brooklyn Nets now the top option in NYC but the Knicks have potential and a former coach of the year, have some faith.
Yes this is going to be another season with more lows than highs and the New York Knicks have done nothing as a franchise over the past decade to now demand patience from their fan base but with the potentially stacked draft class in 2021 to come and a core of young talent already in the team, the Knicks might just be on the verge of something or it's just the same old crap it has been with the Knickbockers for the past 20 years.
Heading into Friday's game with OKC, the Knicks were sitting 5-3 and fans were high on the job coach Thibs was doing, now the Knicks sit 5-6 and fans need to realise that without Randle playing out of his skin this is still a team built around a core of players that are aged 22 or younger (Barrett, Robinson, Knox, Toppin & Quickley).
Tom Thibodeau is an experienced coach and he will be aware of the size of the job on his plate but this is still a time for Knicks fans to be excited. Yes, the early weeks of the 2020/21 season have been rough for RJ Barrett, he's lost the confidence in his shot but he's still just a 20 year old kid trying to earn his keep in the NBA. Obi Toppin was National College Player of the Year in 2020 but we have only got to see one game from him so far due to injury. Mitchell Robinson is a capable defender, improving all the time and is quickly becoming a walking double double (points & boards), while Knox and Quickley are beginning to show key contributions off the bench. Yes it may be another year of struggle for the Knicks but they are going in the right direction and right now is a good time to trust the process.