New York Knicks 2020-21 NBA Most Improved Player candidate, Julius Randle has been playing lights out basketball on both ends of the court. Tom Thibodeau talked about Randle’s physicality along with his ability to impact the game without scoring after a win on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Julius Randle and RJ Barrett do a lot of things for the Knicks on both ends. The former Kentucky star and the former Duke star possess physicality and playmaking abilities. Both can impact the game without necessarily scoring the basketball due to their abilities to make teammates better. Julius Randle however has become even more dangerous due to his drastically improved three-point shooting and improved basketball IQ. The power forward is also influencing RJ Barrett positively on the court. Barrett’s second year shooting leap under Knicks Head Coach Tom Thibodeau paints a very bright future for the shooting guard moving forward. Barrett’s improved three point shooting and defense will easily allow the Knicks to surround him and Randle with proper talent moving forward.

Tom Thibodeau: “Either You Win or You Learn”.

Tom Thibodeau has always believed in magic being in the work. The 2020-21 NBA Coach of the Year candidate makes sure his team learn from every single loss. As a result of this concept, the Knicks tend not lose to the same opponent twice. Even if a loss occur twice to an opponent, it’s usually with lots of fight and resistance. The competitive spirit and heart of this current Knicks team has been night and day compared to prior seasons. Players have bought into Tom Thibodeau’s system, especially Julius Randle and RJ Barrett. The Knicks were even able to come away with a victory against a top team in the Western Conference with important players nursing injuries in Alec Burks and Immanuel Quickley during a recent west coast road trip.

Knicks Coaching Staff Including Kenny Payne Helps Elevate Julius Randle.

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Kenny Payne and Julius Randle are familiar with each other due to their experience and success at Kentucky University during Randle’s one and done collegiate 2013-14 season. Kenny Payne, a left handed player himself, played four years in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers from 1989-90 to 1992-93. The 6’8” small forward from Laurel, Mississippi understands the game at a very high level due to his playing experience from a very good 1989-90 Philadelphia 76ers team which consisted of Charles Barkley, Scott Brooks, Hershey Hawkins, Rick Mahorn and many others. Their head coach at the time was Jim Lynam. The 76ers finished with a 53-29 record, good for first in the Atlantic Division during Payne’s rookie 1989-90 season.

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Kenny Payne and John Calipari spent time together in Kentucky with Julius Randle, who averaged 15.0-points and 10.4 rebounds to go along with 1.4 assists per game. Payne has worked with and passed on knowledge to Randle. The same process continues with Payne and Randle once again together on the Knicks. The familiarity between the assistant coach and Randle has shown to be tremendous in elevating Randle’s game. Of course nothing would be possible without Randle’s motor.

Julius Randle’s Playmaking, Physicality, Motor, and Desire to Win Hasn’t Gone Unnoticed.

The Brolic 6’9” 250 pound power forward from Dallas, Texas is in the best shape of his career credited to the phenomenal physical work he put in during the offseason in the midst of Tom Thibodeau’s hiring. Julius Randle prepared himself physically because he wanted the responsibility to carry the Knicks roster on both ends of the court. His desire to be great is simply a beautiful thing to see for Knicks fans. The late great superstar Kobe Bryant definitely played a role in Randle’s approach to the game mentally. Randle receives MVP chants at the free throw line at Madison Square Garden and on the road on a nightly basis.

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