Last night, the Madison Garden Crowd was giving it to their home team, as New York came out and played a sluggish first half. Boston led by as many as 25 and the boo birds were targeting Knicks star forward Julius Randle. Then, in the 4th quarter, with New York in the midst of an amazing comeback, Randle made that familiar 'thumb down' gesture towards the fans. Uh, oh...What are these athletes thinking? Like, New Yorkers are going to stop when you do that to them? You'll get a finger right back and it won't be the thumb!
New York Knicks big man Julius Randle has achieved at least one more major accomplishment this season. Randle made the NBA All-Star team, lead the Knicks to the playoffs, and now has won the NBA's Most Improved Player Award. Randle went from a guy that just about everyone from NBA Reporters and Insiders to fans thought would be traded as part of a complete rebuild in New York to being a key piece of the future at Madison Square Garden. The coolest part of Julis Randle winning Most Improved Player was who presented him with the trophy, his four-year-old son Kyden.
The New York Knicks are back over .500 and getting ready for a prime time matchup with Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans tomorrow night. Marc Berman covers the Knicks for the New York Post and is making his first trip to cover them out of market this season not only because they're playing Zion but also because they're playing well. What can a matchup with Zion mean for Julius Randle and RJ Barrett?
It's been almost a month since the last time we had Newsday's Steve Popper on the show. In that time the Knicks have gone 7-4 and Julius Randle has become a real candidate to start in the NBA All-Star Game on March 7th. Popper seemed less than optimistic at that point about the Knicks talent both now and in the near future. Have the Knicks and more directly Forward Julius Randle showed enough in the last few weeks to change Popper's opinion of them?
I've heard all of the over reactions to the New York Knicks not signing Kevin Durant or any max contract guy for that matter and I have to say I think they did really well. IF Durant never ruptured his Achilles I would feel very different but he did and when his Achilles popped so did the dreams of a quick rebuild for the Knicks. In the past this team would over react and sign the biggest name available and mortgage the future to appease the fans. These moves were measured, smart and made the team better.