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Knicks Coach Tom Thibodeau Is Reportedly Having Trouble Getting Julius Randle To Play Less Selfishly This Season

Knicks Coach Tom Thibodeau is Reportedly Having Trouble Getting Julius Randle To Play Less Selfishly This Season

Julius Randle broke out for the New York Knicks last season, leading his team to the playoffs while becoming an All-Star starter and earning himself a place on the All-NBA Second Team. Randle was an almost unanimous selection for the NBA's Most Improved Player award and was compared to several past greats like Chris Bosh. 

It wasn't just him who excelled though, as other players like Derrick Rose, RJ Barrett, and Alec Burks also stepped up and performed well above their level. The Knicks showcased excellent team play, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and finished the season as the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. This saw Randle get a massive extension in the offseason, with the future looking bright for him as well as the Knicks. 

Fast forward a year and the magic seems to have disappeared, the Knicks are currently struggling, with a lot of the blame falling squarely on Randle's shoulders. The excellent team spirit is missing and according to The New York Post, sources have explained that coach Tom Thibodeau is having trouble getting Randle to play unselfishly. 

"According to an NBA source, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau has admitted to associates he’s had more trouble getting Randle to play with a selflessness this season than during last season."

Randle's assist numbers have fallen by 1 assist per game and his turnovers have increased after last season. Most notably, his efficiency has fallen drastically as well and he is averaging just 18 points per game compared to over 24 points last season. His standard of play has dropped significantly. 

This has led to backlash from the fans, something else that Randle has reacted poorly to, infamously showing the thumbs-down gesture to his fans in reaction to the criticism. The Knicks have fallen outside the play-in spots in a very competitive Eastern Conference and coach Tom Thibodeau will need to find a way to unlock his star player and the team quickly if the Knicks are to avoid missing the playoffs entirely.