Knicks’ All-Star Takes Full Responsibility for Heartbreaking Loss

Julius Randle

Getty Julius Randle is guarded by Wesley Matthews and Anthony Davis during a May 11 game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Even without LeBron James, the New York Knicks were unable to close out their six-game road trip with a second-straight win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

They’ll leave the six-game stretch with a .500 record of 3-3, but no longer the fourth seed in the East. New York will drop to the sixth seed in the conference, with only three games to reobtain their footing.

An All-Star Apology

In overtime, the New York Knicks dropped their game 101-99 on Tuesday night to the Los Angeles Lakers.

All-Star forward Julius Randle finished with 31 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in 44 minutes.

But despite his strong showing, the 26-year old shouldered responsibility for the loss after the game when speaking with reporters:

I had a chance to finish the job and I didn’t finish the job….I’m looking at myself….Put it on me.

With a two-point lead in regulation, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed a three-pointer to give the Lakers a one-point lead with seconds remaining. But Wesley Matthews recovered the rebound and put back his miss for the score.

That sent the game to overtime, and ultimately Los Angeles to a win.

Randle’s 44 minutes played are the most he’s clocked since the Knicks’ April 18th win over the New Orleans Pelicans where he played 47.

New York’s All-Star, and the league-leader in minutes per game, admitted to New York Daily News’s Stefan Bondy how exhausted he was playing down the stretch:

Me, I played to exhaustion. I know my guys played to exhaustion. To do what we did, last game of the road trip against a championship-caliber team, to play the way we played was great. And like I said, I put it on myself. For me to have the opportunity to finish the game off, I know my guys aren’t going to say it, it comes down to that play. But for me I feel as a leader I’ve got to finish that game. So I’m not going to put it on nobody else. I’m going to put it on myself.

On the team going 3-3 over arguably their toughest stretch of the season, Randle was unsatisfied:

Some will call the road trip a success. I feel like we had a chance to go 5-1. I had a chance to close it out, make it a successful trip, go 4-2. Put it on me.

Both he and the Knicks will have to pivot their attention (and quickly) to the remaining three-game homestand. With three winnable games on deck and a homecourt advantage in sight, there’s little time to mourn over this loss.

Updated Knicks Playoff Odds

After their loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Knicks drop to 38-31, and the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference behind the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat.

According to Five Thirty Eight’s forecast, their chances at making the playoffs remain above 99 percent. But the website is still giving the team a less than one percent shot at making and/or winning the 2021 NBA Finals.

That number could increase if they obtain home court going into the postseason.

New York’s currently got a three-game lead over the seventh seed Boston Celtics and a five-game lead over the eighth seed Charlotte Hornets.

Action Network gives the Knicks a 49.3 percent chance to enter the playoffs as the fourth seed, and a 34 percent shot to enter as the fifth seed.

Luckily, has New York’s remaining schedule as only the 17th toughest in the entire NBA.

Three games to go.

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