Anthony Davis and Julius Randle went at it on Tuesday, trying to get a big win for their teams. While the Los Angeles Lakers are trying to leave play-in spots, the Knicks needed this victory to clinch a playoffs berth for the first time since 2013.
In the end, the purple and gold had the last laugh, winning a game in OT, 101-99. Even though he left the arena with an L, Randle earned a lot of praise from his rivals. One of them is AD, a former teammate that saw his evolution.
After the game was over, the Brow talked about the Knicks star, labeling him an MVP candidate (3:21).
“Julius, that’s my guy,” Davis said after the Lakers beat the Knicks. “Played with in New Orleans. He’s definitely developed his game with shooting ability and off the dribble.
“The last whole possession I just had to lock in defensively and make sure that he wasn’t going to score and help the team. I feel like I made him hit the three with my contest at the end. He shot a little higher than normal.
“But I mean he’s been playing like this all year. I think he’s an MVP kind of candidate. He for sure should win most improved. What he’s doing got his team in the playoffs right now for a team who hasn’t been in the playoffs for a while. He’s playing his ass off and you can do nothing but respect it.”
This season was full of changes for the Knicks. They hired a new coach that put the pieces in the right places, make them play hard, gave them an identity, and now the team is having a terrific season.
They are bound to make the playoffs for the first time in eight years and Randle played a significant role. The forward became the team's star, lifting their level and putting them on the map again.
He's gotten MVP buzz in recent weeks, and that's not weird or undeserving at all. He has balled his heart out, and that sacrifice is paying off now.