Why Julius Randle’s return is key to the Knicks’ postseason success

The Knicks have gone 15-11 since Julius Randle has been out with a shoulder injury and his return will be crucial to New York’s success in the postseason.

Randle separated his shoulder against Miami when Jaime Jaquez Jr. attempted a charge and Randle fell into him.

The latest news from Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau suggests Randle’s rehabilitation is somewhat stalled.

Thibodeau said Randle “feels better” and “has sped up a little,” but he has not yet been cleared for contact.

His presence on the court will be much needed when New York faces the best teams in the playoffs.

Obviously Jalen Brunson is giving it his all this season. But when he isn’t available on offense, Randle is the only other teammate of his who can serve as the primary attacking midfielder.

“When the offense breaks down in the postseason, you need a player who can put his head down and get to the basket for a bucket or a trip to the three-point line. After parting ways with RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, Brunson and Randle remain the only two suitable Knicks,” CBS’ Colin Ward-Henninger points out.

Randle is also one of the few players on this year’s roster capable of scoring big points in crucial games.

Since Randle’s injury on Jan. 27, the Knicks have averaged 118 points per 100 possessions with Brunson on the court.

This plummets to 102.3 when Brunson is resting.

“You just have to face your reality. So when guys come back, you see where they’re at,” Thibodeau said March 25 when asked about Randle’s return. “We’re always going to prioritize the team. So whatever contributions they can make to help the team, that’s where we’re going to go. And if it doesn’t help the team, we won’t do it.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.