2 Weaknesses that could keep Knicks from making deep playoff run

The playoffs are almost here!
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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1. No Julius Randle

Randle's final game of the 2023-24 season was on Jan. 27, when he dislocated his shoulder against the Heat. For two months, the hope was he'd be able to return, but that hope was erased when Woj reported Randle would undergo season-ending surgery.

By then, the Knicks were already accustomed to life without Randle, so New York didn't have to adjust when the news was announced. All the team had to do was keep playing as they had been.

The Knicks have managed to keep their top seed in the East with Randle sidelined, but his absence will be felt even more in the playoffs. Brunson will draw more defensive pressure (like last year), and New York will miss having Randle in the paint to remove some of that pressure.

Yes, Randle's struggled in the postseason, but that doesn't mean the Knicks are better off without him. It helps that New York gained floor spacers in DiVincenzo and Anunoby, but it's impossible to replicate the player Randle is. His physicality will also be missed. There's nothing like Randle's bully ball.

The Knicks could still advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2000 without Randle, but it won't be easy.

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