New York Knicks: 3 Adjustments to make before Game 2

Frank Ntilikina, Trae Young, New York Knicks. (Photo by Seth Wenig - Pool/Getty Images)
Frank Ntilikina, Trae Young, New York Knicks. (Photo by Seth Wenig - Pool/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
Julius Randle, New York Knicks. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

New York Knicks: Get Julius Randle attacking downhill

Randle has toppled every expectation that fans and experts alike placed on him at the beginning of the year, and it would not be a surprise to see his name appear on the All-NBA lists once the season concludes. However, his dismal performance on Sunday night was the clear reason as to why the Knicks came up short.

He shot just 6-23 from the field, missing the same moving mid-range jumpers that seemed automatic for him in the regular season. Normally when he had an off night he would make up for it with his improved playmaking, but Randle had just 4 assists to go along with 3 turnovers.

On nights where his shot isn’t falling, the 26-year old needs to be more aggressive and get to the rim. Randle has always been an excellent finisher, using his large frame to bully smaller defenders and deliver with a surprisingly soft touch around the basket.

He shot 3-6 at the rim in Game 1 and 3-17 from everywhere else.

Atlanta was clearly focused on Randle, as he was seeing double and triple-teams all night long. But still, getting him to the basket forces the defense to collapse and he can kick out to shooters. He was actually solid at this, for the most part, the shooters just couldn’t convert. RJ Barrett and Reggie Bullock both finished the regular season hitting over 40% of their shots from three, but they combined to connect on just 1-11 of their attempts from behind the arc on Sunday.

Randle’s poor performance mainly seemed like jitters in the first postseason game of his career rather than a sign of what’s to come. Even if he does continue to struggle with his jumper, getting downhill and driving into the paint more often would help benefit Randle and the entire team as a result.

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