NY Knicks: Defending different segments of the fan base

Obi Toppin, Julius Randle, EVan Fournier, Derrick Rose, New York Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Obi Toppin, Julius Randle, EVan Fournier, Derrick Rose, New York Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks
NY Knicks, Julius Randle (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

NY Knicks: Defending the Randle Defenders — Max Hoover

“I’m not an optimist or a pessimist. I’m a realist.”

First of all, anyone who tells you that is lying and probably a cynic.

Second, I’m a realist.

I’m a “the proof is in the pudding” guy. A, “Don’t talk about it, be about it” kind of personality.

Truthfully, from Thibs on down, no one associated with the Knicks has really “been about it” consistently this year. No one.

However, what we saw from Randle last season and have seen in some nationally televised games this year, he’s the closest one.

We are not even a year removed from Randle winning Most Improved Player and being voted Second-Team All-NBA.

Those things are not hypotheticals. Those things happened. For real.

Last season, Julius Randle was a top-10 player in the NBA per that metric. He then left money on the table to commit to this franchise.

The speed with which fans have abandoned him is mind-boggling.

We all want R.J. Barrett to show us something on the court. We all want to believe he can be the future of the franchise. We all want to believe the kids will lead the Knicks to glory.

The problem is that neither Barrett nor the other youngsters has played both at Randle’s peak and done so consistently.

And yes, Randle’s shooting is down, but so is everyone else’s which is impacting Randle’s impression as a playmaker.

On top of that, Randle’s usage rate is actually down from last year. He’s trying to get other guys involved and it’s not working.

I’m not even going to use the argument of what the team has looked like without him this year because it’s a small sample size and so many players were also out those two games.

But, boy-oh-boy, look at how they looked against the Indiana Pacers when Randle (who had the highest +/- on the team, btw) was clicking.

When it comes to placing my hope in something with the Knicks,  I’m going to look to the player that has done it most recently. That’s Julius Randle.