Julius Randle Was Never the Knicks' Savior: Unchecked

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated

Julius Randle is getting a thumbs down from Knicks fans for his performance this season.

Julius Randle is getting a big thumbs down from Knicks fans and I understand why. But here’s the thing … he was never that guy.

Randle isn’t doing himself any favors by continuing to dodge media availability, as his 4-point performance in a loss to the Pelicans saw him skip out on doing press for the seventh straight game. And that market is going to demand accountability from the current face of the franchise. However, Randle is simply not cut out for that role.

In a way, the inspiring season he and the Knicks had last year is coming back to bite him. I can’t recall a team ever being so much better than my expectations nor a player outperforming what I thought he was capable of to such a degree. But things have normalized across the league and both he and the Knicks are back to reality.

Randle’s three-point shooting has regressed by over 10% and so has some of the shot-making he displayed during his breakout performances given he’s hitting just 41% from the floor overall.

Combine that with his penchant for tunnel vision and heavy isolation play and it’s easy to see why the Knicks currently sit below even the play-in. Not exactly what they thought they were getting for $20 million. And I’d imagine many are more upset by his body language than they are his salary cap hit.

Which leaves some of the most passionate fans in the world back to Madison Square one with Bing-Bong becoming ping pong again.

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