Comparing Julius Randle to other great Knicks power forwards

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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Knicks, Julius Randle
David Lee, Knicks. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) /

David Lee was a bright spot in a dark Knicks era

David Lee and Julius Randle were each 26 when they made their first all-star appearances. For accuracy purposes, we’ll mainly compare their all-star seasons.

The stats are close; Randle averages 24 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists per game this year on 47/41/81 shooting splits. Lee averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists while shooting 54% from the field. Lee was also the more efficient player with a 22 PER compared to Randle’s 20.

When I mentioned the possibility of empty numbers, David Lee is the reason for this.  Not to take away that Lee was an excellent player, but the Knicks were a bad team. With a final record of 29-53, Lee was putting up numbers for the New York, but they continually lost games.

The difference between Lee and Randle is that Julius Randle is the engine that makes the Knicks move.  The entire offense runs through him, and he can isolate and score on all three levels. Though Lee was also an all-star, his lack of outside scoring did not work in Mike D’Antoni’s offense.

Most importantly, as my DailyKnicks teammate Max LoSardo put it, Randle matters more to the Knicks than any star to any team other than Steph Curry to the Golden State Warriors and possibly Nikola Jokic to the Denver Nuggets. Neither Randle nor Lee had absurd amounts of talent around them, but Randle has led his role players to an almost certain playoff spot.