Is Julius Randle the Star the Knicks have needed?

Yep, he had nine turnovers to go with his triple-double against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he's been turnover prone throughout this four-game start to the season. Still, Julius Randle is playing like the all-star the Knicks have been begging the basketball gods to send them. Is he?



So far, with a small sample size and an irregular beginning to the season, Randle is averaging 24.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists with 5 turnovers per game. He's shooting 55.6% from the field and a wild 69.2% from three. There is no way he will continue to shoot the three-ball at such a high clip, and his assists numbers may come down just a bit, but even still, that's an MVP-type stat line.



It's not just the stat line that is impressive. According to New York Knicks Head Coach Tom Thibodeau, Randle lost a few pounds and came into camp in tremendous shape. Over the nine-month off-season, he disciplined himself to run, kept in the forefront of his mind that he needs to be a leader that gets his teammates involved. He took Thibodeau's "make the right play" mantra to heart.


He is playing with these two philosophies in mind, and it shows. You will see him consciously trying to get players like Kevin Knox involved or looking for teammates instead of forcing shots and making wild spin moves.


Still, there are questions. Will Randle continue to play this way if the Knicks hit a losing streak? How will he handle crunch time situations? Can he make adjustments when coaches begin to figure out what he and the Knicks are doing? Can he handle the pressure of a hotly contested and intense game?


Many questions remain. But for today, I hold out hope that Randle turned a corner and he's ready to leap into the next tier of NBA stardom.


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