NY Knicks: 4 Reasons Julius Randle Deserves MIP Award

Julius Randle, New York Knicks. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Julius Randle, New York Knicks. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks
Julius Randle, Knicks. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Julius Randle is having a fantastic season for the NY Knicks.

On Friday, April 16th, Knicks fans tuned into ESPN for a 9:30 eastern time tip-off only to find that the first game of ESPN’s Friday night double-header was running long. On the ticker, on the bottom right corner of their screens, Knicks fans found two faces previewing the second game of the night: Randle and Luka Doncic.

Max, why is this significant?

Because Julius Randle isn’t just having a fantastic season. He’s having a narrative-changing season.

See, it used to be that if the Knicks and Mavericks played at 9:30 on a Friday night, the narrative would have been “Porzingis vs the LOLKnicks that traded him,” but that’s not the case anymore. Randle’s play has changed the conversation to, “Two All-Stars, Two All-NBA Caliber players square off in a key matchup for playoff positioning.”

And Randle didn’t disappoint. He had a 44/10/7 stat line and even though he was technically a -1, there’s absolutely no way they win this game without him.

The best part is this isn’t even a fluke. Randle has been doing this all season long. He’s been especially deadly against teams like the Lakers, the Pelicans, and the Mavericks–teams where he feels like he has something to prove–games where he can change the narrative.

Factoring in last night’s game, Basketball-Reference has his yearly averages at 23.6/10.6/6.0 on the season.

Not too shabby for a guy the Lakers let walk for nothing and many Knicks fans would have traded for scraps prior to this season starting.

I’m honestly not sure there’s actually any debate about who the Most Improved Player award should go to, but I’ll still make the case. To do that we’ll look at his production compared to previous seasons, where the Knicks were supposed to be, how he stacks up against the competition, and how he stacks up historically against previous award winners.