Julius Randle Sounds off on Officiating After Knicks’ Game 4 Loss

Julius Randle, New York Knicks

Getty Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks talks to referee Josh Tiven #58 during game three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Julius Randle did not mince words after he fouled out with still 3:08 left in the New York Knicks‘ 109-101 loss in Game 4 that sank them in a 1-3 hole against the Miami Heat in their Eastern Conference Semifinals.

“That was tough,” Randle told reporters after the game. “As far as officiating, that’s one of the toughest games I’ve been a part of. Usually, the physicality in the playoffs is up. I don’t know, I had six fouls, and I think maybe 4-5 were offensive [fouls]. That’s never happened in my career. That’s tough.”

Three of Randle’s six fouls were on the offensive end, including the final whistle against Miami’s unheralded guard Max Strus, who anticipated the drive. Had the call been a blocking foul, Randle would have been awarded a bonus free throw that could have further trimmed the Heat’s lead to four. Instead, the Heat extended their lead to nine on a Jimmy Butler reverse layup after Randle exited the game.

Randle wound up with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, nine rebounds and three assists against six turnovers, three off those offensive fouls.

It was a frustrating night for the Knicks, who also saw Josh Hart fouling out and Jalen Brunson racking up five fouls.

Despite their foul trouble, the Knicks (18-24) were rewarded with two more free throws than the Heat (16-22).

Tom Thibodeau Reacts to Officiating

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau does not want to pin the loss on the officiating but could not help himself wondering what an offensive foul was and not in the officials’ eyes.

“Before I comment on that, I want to look at the film,” Thibodeau told reporters when asked to comment on the offensive fouls called on Randle. “The thing is, it’s like they say [there was] marginal contact there.”

“They are calling charges one way for [Miami], Jalen [Brunson] is taking a square [stance] on a number [of times], it’s not [called]. I don’t want to put it on the officials. I’d rather look at the film first before I comment further on that,” he added.

Knicks Beaten in Their Own Game

Randle and Thibodeau rued their lack of effort in tracking down rebounds and loose balls.

The Heat took away the Knicks’ biggest strengths–rebounding and second-chance points. The Knicks were minus-9 in rebounds and minus-5 in offensive rebounds, which led to a 17-7 Heat advantage in second-chance scoring.

“Maybe they want it more. I don’t know. That’s been who we are all year, and we’ve gotta find a way to step up and make those plays if we want to keep this season alive,” Randle said.

“We gotta get a body on people. They’re shooting long, we’re running in, and the ball’s going over our head,” Thibodeau added.

The Knicks were the third-best rebounding team, including in the offensive glass, in the regular season. Their dominance in the glass continued in their 4-1 romp in the opening round against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But they could not duplicate that against a smaller Heat team, whose tallest player in their starting lineup is 6-foot-9 Bam Adebayo. The Heat have outrebounded them 94-83 over the last two games of the series.






Read More