You just gotta laugh at this point. The duo of head coach Tom Thibodeau and forward Julius Randle have helped torpedo this Knicks season with a combination of incompetence, arrogance, and stubbornness. But Sunday night’s loss to the Utah Jazz might have been their masterclass.
Let’s begin with Randle. Sure, he shot poorly — 6-22 for 13 points — but that wasn’t what really irked Knicks fans. It was the bad attitude and the shitty effort on plays like this.
Julius Randle get some nice light cardio while the Jazz and Knicks play a basketball game pic.twitter.com/frxMd9j1Oi— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) March 21, 2022
Evan Fournier has underachieved this season, and he’s an abhorrent transition defender, but at least he’s TRYING to stay in front of Donovan Mitchell in this clip. Randle was pulling crap like this most of the night. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Knicks made a run with Randle on the bench, pulling to within four after Utah had built a 15-point deficit.
This is when Thibs stepped in. The Knicks had been getting dominated by the backcourt duo of Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson all night, but the trio of Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes and RJ Barrett had finally started to make an impact on the defensive end. Naturally, Thibs inserted Alec Burks for Grimes. Burks then let Spida blow by him for a thunderous dunk. Quickley, who was at his best early in the fourth, helped buoy the Knicks with plays like this:
This two handed contest from Quickley followed by the full court outlet to Obi for the dunk is something else. Two-way mastery from IQ. pic.twitter.com/dUVXLrVD8f— Tom Piccolo (@Tom_Piccolo) March 21, 2022
With 4:48 remaining and the Knicks down six, Thibs took out Obi Toppin for Randle (dumb) and Quickley for Fournier (inexcusably dumb). The Jazz immediately went on a 10-0 run to salt the game away.
Do the Knicks complete the comeback with Grimes, IQ and Obi in the game? Maybe not. But they would have at least lost with some fucking dignity.
Oh, and Randle got into a dumb fight with Rudy Gobert at the end of the game.
Recap tomorrow. Season’s almost over.