As the New York Knicks attempt to build off their wildly successful 2022-23 season and return to the playoffs, seeing how Julius Randle approaches the upcoming year will be interesting.
The 28-year-old has repeatedly reinvented his game in New York, with mostly successful results. He went from a non-shooter who relied heavily on paint touches to generate offense in the post to a ball-handling forward that attempted over eight threes per game last season.
Randle’s offensive evolution played a major role in his second All-Star appearance for the Knicks, averaging 25.1 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game in 2022-23.
It’ll be important for him to maintain his current level of production while also reaching these three goals next season.
3 goals for Knicks forward Julius Randle to reach in 2023-24 season
3: Limit isolation touches
Randle’s ability to produce quality offensive possessions by going one-on-one has fluctuated in recent years. He’s a capable scorer in that setting, finishing through contact on his bruising drives to the rim while incorporating his new pull-up three to punish defenders who give him too much room.
However, merely being a capable isolation scorer isn’t good enough to justify his enormous volume. Randle had the seventh-highest isolation frequency in the NBA last season, with a myriad of superstars such as Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic, and Joel Embiid ranking ahead of him.
Randle’s turnover frequency of 12.9% in isolation was the worst mark among the top 20 iso players in the league. He would often get stripped on post-up attempts, leading to fastbreak points for opponents.
His isolation offense was sorely needed back in 2020-21 during his breakout season, as the Knicks didn’t have much shot creation in the rotation outside of RJ Barrett in his sophomore year, Immanuel Quickley in his rookie season, and 35 games of Derrick Rose.
Now looking toward 2023-24, New York has a franchise point guard in Jalen Brunson, a do-it-all playmaking wing in Josh Hart, and expected developmental leaps from Barrett and Quickley.
It isn’t a requirement for Randle to rank amongst the top ten in isolation possessions anymore, and it would help him improve his efficiency while simultaneously cutting down on turnovers by limiting that part of his game.