Following arguably the best playoff game of his career, hopes were high for Julius Randle to have a repeat performance in a critical Game 3. However, what fans got instead was more of the same as what we’ve seen out of him in the playoffs.
Randle wasn’t the sole reason for the Knicks’ loss, as the whole team played terribly, however, he stood out in the worst ways possible. However, Randle is supposed to be an All-Star, All-NBA player and he was anything but that.
The Knicks were relying on Randle to help their offensive struggles in this series and if anything, he’s made it worse. There honestly may not have been a single bright moment from Randle all game and the stats show it.
Julius Randle’s final statline shows how atrocious Knicks were in Game 3
In 38 minutes of play, Randle put up 10 points, 14 rebounds, and two assists while shooting 4-of-15 from the field and 0-of-5 from beyond the arc. To make matters even worse, Randle also had four turnovers, meaning he had the same amount of made shots as turnovers which is just embarrassing. There wasn’t a thing Randle could do offensively and a lot of it was due to the way the Heat were guarding him.
Erik Spoelstra deciding to have Bam Adebayo guard Randle while simultaneously trapping him whenever he gets the ball down low has done wonders for the Heat’s defense. This sort of coaching adjustment is exactly what Tom Thibodeau needs to learn from as the series goes on.
Again, Randle wasn’t the sole reason the team lost, as the Knicks shot 34.1% from the field and 20% from three on 40 attempts in Game 3. With all due respect, the Knicks have shot 27.1% from three in this series, so there was not a singular reason for the team to attempt that many threes.
New York was simply outplayed in every facet of the word. Offensively, defensively, on the boards, it doesn’t matter what area of the game we’re talking about, the Knicks were overpowered and it was embarrassing to watch.
Entering Game 4, both the players and Tom Thibodeau must adjust if they want a chance to win this series. If they don’t, it could all be over before fans know it.