The inability of the Knicks to pick up Julius Randle reveals weakness in Magic’s defeat
On Sunday evening, the New York Knicks suffered their first loss of the season, falling to the Orlando Magic. After annihilating them in Orlando, the Magic rebounded with a youthful squad lead by veteran Terrence Ross, who scored over 20 points in the fourth quarter to help his team win.
The Knicks struggled defensively, which will certainly irritate head coach Tom Thibodeau, who depends heavily on strong defence to control the tempo of the game and give his team a competitive advantage.
The Knicks, on the other hand, struggled greatly, allowing two Orlando players to score 20 points or more. Despite being the main point guard, Ross ended with 22 points and Cole Anthony with 29 points and 16 rebounds.
The Knicks did have some good play from guys like Mitchell Robinson, who had a double-double, and backup point guard Derrick Rose, who scored 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting.
Nonetheless, despite scoring 30 points, All-Star power forward Julius Randle’s bad performance stuck out the most. Randle made just two of ten three-point tries, accounting for 20 percent of his total. He ended with an 8-for-24 field goal percentage and 16 rebounds.
While Randle’s point output seems to be excellent on paper, his shot selection was poor, resulting in empty possessions when the team should have been distributing the ball.
Clearly, the club understood that when Randle isn’t at his best, they are susceptible to inferior opponents.
It places a greater focus on the performances of third-year shooting guard RJ Barrett, as well as newcomers Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier.
They need to find ways to score when Julius isn’t playing at his best, which they didn’t accomplish as Kemba ended with a -14 +/-. In fact, Robinson was the only player to finish with a positive +/-, despite playing with a minor ankle twist.
Fortunately for the Knicks, Randle should be back to his usual self in the coming days as the club prepares to face the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night. Philly is 2–1 on the season, with their single defeat coming at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets. They have defeated both the Pelicans and the Thunder, scoring a total of 109 points in their first three games.