3 New York Knicks that Must Step Up in the Absence of Julius Randle

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New York Knicks

New York Knicks, Julius Randle (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks will need to survive without their top scorer

Julius Randle entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols Thursday morning, meaning that he’ll be out for at least 6 days unless he submits two negative COVID tests before that period. Assuming he quarantines for 6 days and is given a game off to regain conditioning (as most returning players often do), he’ll miss the New York Knicks’ next four games.

Despite playing some ugly basketball as of late, the Knicks have won three straight to fight all the way back to a record of 17-18 on the season. That slots them as the 9th seed in the Eastern Conference, only 1.5 games back of the 6th place Philadelphia 76ers.

New York Knicks: Who steps up with no Julius Randle?

It’s imperative that they continue to grind out wins and remain in the middle of the playoff race even without their top option.

While he’s not the only struggling Knick this season, Randle stands as the most prominent. The former All-Star and reigning Most Improved Player award winner is averaging just 19.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 3.5 turnovers per game on disappointing 42-33-77 shooting splits. Every single one of those statistics is a worse mark than last year.

His poor shooting mixed with a noticeable lack of effort has taken a toll on the team, especially the starting lineup. It’s no surprise that he currently has the worst plus-minus per 100 possessions and the second-worst net rating of any rotation player for New York. In short, the team is playing better with Randle on the bench.

Despite this, he still leads the group in scoring and assists so it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the lineup performs without him. Here are three players that will have to step up in order for the Knicks to maintain their winning streak.

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