NY Knicks: 3 Reasons Why Julius Randle Deserves MVP Votes

RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
4 of 4
NY Knicks
Julius Randle, Knicks. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Without Julius Randle, the NY Knicks wouldn’t be in contention

The NY Knicks are going to make the playoffs. If Julius Randle was not on the Knicks, they would not be in contention. It’s as simple as that. This isn’t to degrade the rest of the roster, but to praise illustrate how Randle has embodied the spirit of the award.

I hesitate to fully endorse Jason Smith’s implication that Jokic isn’t as important to the Nuggets as Randle is to the Knicks. However, the idea is correct that Jokic, even with Jamal Murray sidelined, certainly has more help. Save for Steph Curry, I’d say that every other superstar in the league has more help and more margin for error than Julius Randle.

The Knicks were projected to win 22 games at the beginning of the season. They’ve now won 37 and may finish closer to the one seed than the eighth seed.

At the very least,  Randle is a shoe-in for Most Improved Player.   Last season, Randle averaged 19.5 PPG, 9.7 RPG, and 3.1 APG while shooting a measly 28% from behind the arc. He was the subject of trade rumors and ire from Knicks fans – a representation of what looked like a failed offseason and a bad contract. Now he is the present and the future of winning basketball in New York.

Expect Jokic to win the award, and deservedly so.  But as stars keep finding themselves in street clothes as the season winds down, Randle continues to play night in and night out unscathed and unleashed. Some fourth and fifth place votes?  Sure.  Second and third place votes?  Now we’re talking.

Next. Nerlens Noel is 2nd in the entire NBA in this statistic. dark