A lot has been said about Julius Randle’s performance for the New York Knicks in the 2021 playoffs so far. Naturally, most of them are not good, with some even teasing him of choking in what could be said the biggest moment of his career.
However, head coach Tom Thibodeau is not losing faith in his All-Star. In fact, it looks like he is confident Randle will be able to bounce back after a series of bad games and offered him just a simple advice to get him going: “Just be Julius.”
Tom Thibodeau has a simple way for Julius Randle to get back on track:
“Just be Julius” pic.twitter.com/ICvKBul1pR
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) May 29, 2021
Now that’s certainly what Julius Randle needs to hear from his coach: a reassuring statement not pack with pressure, but filled with a vote of confidence.
The Knicks have fallen 2-1 to the Atlanta Hawks in their first-round series, with Randle not being really impactful in the first three games. The one-time All-Star has averaged 14.7 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists, and he’s only shooting 24.6 percent from the field–numbers that are far from his 24/10/6 average on 45 percent shooting during the regular season.
Randle’s lack of aggressiveness is especially noteworthy, but it isn’t something that is not hard to fix. As Tom Thibodeau said it, Randle just needs to play like his usual self and everything else will follow.
The Knicks found success leaning on Randle throughout the 2020-21 campaign, and certainly could only achieve their postseason targets if he returns to his normal play that made him an All-Star and the Most Improved Player of the Year.