Knicks Coach Sounds Off on Julius Randle: ‘We Need Him to Play Unselfishly’

Julius Randle, New York Knicks

Getty Julius Randle of the New York Knicks handles the ball against Ish Wainright of the Phoenix Suns.

The New York Knicks are looking to hit the ground running during their upcoming home stretch after coming off of a west coast trip that saw them win three of their last five outings and, though it’ll take a whole team effort to spark a new winning streak, Tom Thibodeau believes Julius Randle’s approach to his play will have an immense impact.

According to a November 23 piece penned by Peter Botte of the New York Post, the veteran head man was asked by reporters about the big man’s adjustments from his previous seasons in New York to this one, as he’s gone from being the top dog in the Big Apple to often serving as a tertiary option next to the likes of Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett.

In response, Thibodeau acknowledged that the former All-Star has been a quality producer in many ways throughout these early stages of the 2022-23 campaign, though seemed to emphasize playing selfless basketball as being the key to unlocking his full potential in his new role.

“…I think he’s done a lot of good things for us. We need him to play unselfishly and do all the things that he brings to our team. Sometimes it’s his passing, scoring, shooting, rebounding, defense, whatever it might be helping the team function well,” Thibodeau said of Randle.

Through 18 games played this year, Randle has once again shown his multi-faceted contributions for the Knicks, as he’s posting impressive averages of 20.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists on 46.7% shooting from the floor.

Randle Keeping Knicks ‘Offense Going’

In the same piece by the New York Post, Botte wrote of Julius Randle’s thoughts on his current season with the Knicks, and, to him, he feels that his focus so far has been on trying to keep the team’s offensive flow up to snuff.

“Just making the game easy, try and make efficient shots and keep the flow of the offense going,” Randle said. “I think it’s the flow of our offense,” Randle said. “Break it down, see more, especially in my position where shots are coming from [and being] responsible for getting good shots … figuring out what spots for most efficient shots.”

Though it may have taken some time for him to get adjusted to relinquishing his status as the main playmaker for the Knicks now that point guard Jalen Brunson is in tow and RJ Barrett is taking on an increased number of duties, since November 5 Randle has been incredibly efficient when on the floor.

During this span, the big man has posted impressive per-game averages of 23.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.6 assists on 49.4% shooting from the floor and a highly impressive 39.2% shooting from distance in 32.4 minutes a night.

Knicks Big Shares Long-Standing Injury Update

Since signing with the New York Knicks back during this past summer’s free agency period, Isaiah Hartenstein has quickly become a favorite amongst the franchise’s faithful followers thanks to his impressive hustle and efforts on both ends of the floor.

However, though it may not have been all that noticeable, the big man has been far from 100% throughout his first season donning the orange and blue threads, as Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported on November 23 that the 24-year-old has been suffering from a nagging Achilles ailment.

“Isaiah Hartenstein revealed he’s been dealing with an inflamed Achilles. It’s an injury he came into the season with and he said he still can’t move like he wants to,” Bondy reported via Twitter.

An injury such as this can significantly impact one’s mobility and can prove to be extremely painful at times, though, despite this, Hartenstein has still gone on to produce admirably for the Knicks and is boasting respectable averages of 6.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per contest on 52.6% shooting from the floor.

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