The New York Knicks had no business hanging around with the Bucks on Friday in the In-Season Tournament. New York was without RJ Barrett, Julius Randle shot 5-of-20 from the field, and Milwaukee shot 20-of-39 (51.3%) from deep, but the Knicks lost by only five points, 110-105.
New York took the lead late in the fourth quarter on a three from Jalen Brunson but then collapsed. His 45 points (17-of-30) weren’t enough to propel his team to a miracle win, and it would’ve helped if Randle hadn’t put up another horrible shooting night. It’s one thing when shots aren’t falling, but it’s a whole different thing when Randle’s finishing possessions like this.
He entered the night averaging 13.2 points on 27.6% shooting from the field and 25.8% from three, and he didn’t do anything to help those numbers. Along with shooting 25% from the floor in Milwaukee, Randle shot 1-of-9 from three (11%). The forward has already made history this season, not in a good way.
Knicks fans react to another Julius Randle offensive dud after loss to Bucks
Julius Randle is coming off a season where he was named to an All-NBA team/All-Star for the second time. He did sustain an ankle sprain late in the regular season and reinjured the same ankle in the playoffs. Randle underwent ankle surgery soon after New York was eliminated in the postseason and returned to playing 5-on-5 during training camp.
Maybe Randle’s offseason recovery has something to do with his slow start, but that can’t explain his disengagement. The team is 2-4 to start the year, and while there’s still a lot of basketball left to be played, fans are rightfully frustrated.
Even Kendrick Perkins had enough of watching Randle by halftime.
It’s still early, but New York can’t afford to have this version of Randle hanging around for much longer. If this level of play continues, Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks will be forced to make some tough decisions. Hey, that’s why they have Obi Toppin! Oh, yeah, never mind.