Coming off the heels of two incredibly tough losses, it seemed as if the Knicks had themselves a relatively easy win against the Orlando Magic on Thursday night. However, this was not the case thanks to some incredibly poor play from both Julius Randle and RJ Barrett.
The Knicks lost 111-106, marking New York’s third consecutive loss as the team enters their final seven games of the 2022-23 season. While the Knicks were without Jalen Brunson, that is no excuse to lose to an Orlando team that has won just 30 games this season.
One of the biggest moments that set the tone for how the night went was Randle’s emotional outburst at the end of the first half in which he had a confrontation with both a referee and his own teammate Immanuel Quickley.
Julius Randle continues to hurt the Knicks with his emotional outbursts
Every player complains to the referees, it’s modern basketball. However, when it’s so bad to the point where there have been multiple occasions in which your teammates have held you back, then there is a problem.
While you could make the argument that Randle was fouled, there are absolutely zero excuses for him to react the way he did, let alone treat Quickley the way he did. This is the second time in three games Randle has had a similar outburst that resulted in him receiving a technical foul and the fans are getting tired of it.
Randle finished the game with a stat line of 23 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. While these numbers aren’t bad on paper, he shot 7-of-20 from the field and an even worse 2-of-9 from three.
This is another example of Randle playing rather poorly without Brunson. In Randle’s last four games without him, he averaged 23.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists while shooting 34.1% from the field and 22.2% from three on 9.0 attempts per game.
The fact that Randle has continuously failed to step up in recent games without Brunson is rather concerning for him as a player, especially if Brunson ends up missing time in the playoffs.
Randle wasn’t the only Knick to disappoint, as the aforementioned Barrett scored just 10 points, grabbed two rebounds, and dished out three assists while shooting 3-of-12 from the field and 0-of-3 from deep. Barrett simply couldn’t do anything on the court against Orlando and it cost the Knicks big time.
The level at which these two played is unacceptable and they must step it up in the coming games to prepare for their upcoming playoff appearance. Luckily enough, the Knicks are set to face off against the Rockets, who are considered to be the worst team in the league. Hopefully, these two improve upon the play they have shown as of late.