NY Knicks: NBA Playoffs are the “next step” in Julius Randle’s greatness

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

For the NY Knicks and Julius Randle, just getting to the NBA Playoffs is a successful season. New York has exceeded preseason expectations to a far greater degree than any other team this season.

This team has not just strung together a winning season, they’ve put themselves in the driver’s seat for sustained success with youth, draft picks, cap space, and a strong coaching and roster foundation in place.

So while Knicks fans can continue to relish this moment of triumph and enjoy the newfound positive relationship with their team, it’s time to prepare for NY’s first-round matchup with the Atlanta Hawks.

NY Knicks: Success in the NBA Playoffs will silence any criticism that’s left

I’m done trying to cap the achievements of what this team can and can’t do. The “putting the Knicks in their place” talk has evolved with every passing month – starting with “they’ll come crashing down to earth soon”, to “fringe playoff team”, to “play-in team”, to “first-round exit”, to “they will win 1 playoff series at best”.

Maybe that’s the smart, calculated prediction, but this is the NBA playoffs where anything can happen, from injuries to shooting slumps. We haven’t even tipped off the first round yet, and this NY Knicks team surely feels like they can run with anyone.

The same ever-evolving narratives of the NY Knicks have been applied to Julius Randle. Starting with “crashing down to earth” to “no way this shooting keeps up”, here we are at the end of the season and he’s about to be named an All-NBA player.

Randle has gone from a young player with an “empty stats” label to someone who has really entered the best kind of superstar conversation.

He’s a multi-faceted star who doesn’t just score – he facilitates, rebounds, and leads by example. He’s a star who is clearly more invested in his team’s success than his personal achievements.

No one questions his ego, his personality, or his leadership.

Randle has surpassed the question of whether or not he is a “star player”. For crying out loud, the man is an 89 overall in NBA 2K21, the 19th highest rating in the game.

Now, Randle is in the “what kind of star is he?” conversation.

The NBA is a league of drama, where comparing superstars and their “legacies” is everyday conversation. You’ll hear future Hall of Fame players like Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and Russell Westbrook get dumped on for not having a championship.

Paul George’s poor playoff performance in last season’s bubble has dominated his narrative. Stephen Curry not having any Finals MVPs is something you’ll hear in regards to legacy.

If you’re in these conversations, congratulations, you made it.

So now that Julius Randle has cemented himself as the star of the NY Knicks, these next few weeks can be the added fuel for the argument that he is one of the best players in the entire league.

This is a team game but it’s a league where star players dominate the narrative. The Knicks’ success will be tied to Randle, as will their failures.

Julius Randle is already the king in New York. If he can lead this team to a first-round victory and into the conference semi-finals, it will catapult his greatness to heights that fans haven’t see in a long time.

Can he push them even farther than the 2nd round? Conference finals? Finals? Anything is possible – that’s the mentality.

Those who watch Randle closely will not question his dedication to winning.

If the NY Knicks’ winning ways continue into the NBA playoffs with Julius Randle leading the charge, his star will continue to climb. This is just the beginning. We here.

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