Knicks power forward Julius Randle had a rough start to his 2023-24 NBA season. In the first six games, he combined to shoot 26/96 (27.1%) on field goal attempts and 9/40 (22.5%) from three. The struggles were clear, and watching miss after miss wasn't a pretty scene.
Shaking off some rust, Julius Randle is starting to get back to the player Knicks fans know.
Over the last five games, the Knicks forward has averaged 25.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 5.2 assists. More importantly, he is shooting 44.4 percent on his field goal attempts (not great, but improvement), and the Knicks have won four of the five games.
I get it; people were frustrated with his start. He looked slow, angry, disengaged, and just couldn’t put the ball in the basket. While plenty of Knicks fans were gathering outside the Randle household to help him pack, those who still believed in him were patiently waiting.
Julius Randle's first 6 games:— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) November 16, 2023
Julius Randle's last 5 games:
80.0 FT% pic.twitter.com/JlwZKwqZwl
Julius Randle's performance against the Atlanta Hawks is what we have been accustomed to seeing since he joined the Knicks.
Julius Randle tonight— Teg (@IQfor3) November 16, 2023
29 PTS | 10 REB | 8 AST
He can drive you crazy with some of the decisions he makes at times, but when it all comes together, he’s a force on the court.
After the game against the Hawks, Randle talked about the Knicks needing more movement on offense to avoid getting stagnant:
"We're just trying to get movement on the offensive end…The more we move, the more we cut, space for each other, set screens, the easier the game will be for everybody…play off each other, play for each other"— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) November 16, 2023
— Julius Randle on building cohesion after Knicks slow start pic.twitter.com/ZzJnCFJQtj
Moving the ball has been working for the Knicks in their last five games. Usually near the bottom of the league, New York is tied for 15th in assists per game. The Knicks train still goes, as Julius Randle can conduct them. Scoring, rebounding, passing, defense—he's the Swiss army knife, and it’s not a surprise they’ve won when he’s played well.
In two of the last three seasons, Randle has been named an All-Star and to an All-NBA team. The 28-year-old didn’t just suddenly lose his game overnight; he’s been slowly regaining touch and explosiveness.
Wednesday night was a good reminder of that, and an encouraging sign for the season going forward.