National Basketball Association
Are the New York Knicks better off without Julius Randle?
National Basketball Association

Are the New York Knicks better off without Julius Randle?

Published Apr. 15, 2024 3:42 p.m. ET

New York stand up!

The Knicks have locked down the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, their highest finish since 2013. They finished the regular season with a 50-32 record, marking just the second time this century they've reached that milestone. 

And they've done it largely without their All-Star forward, Julius Randle. Randle, who's already been ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury, was named to his third All-Star team as a Knick this season. He held averages of 24 points, 9.2 rebounds and five assists per game before his injury on January 27.

The team has remained competitive without Randle in the lineup, having climbed from fourth to second in the standings since he went down. According to former Celtics guard Eddie House, that's because they're better off without him.


"They got the most momentum going into the playoffs," House said Monday on "The Carton Show." "And I'm a say this — it sounds funny when I think about it and when I'm saying it — The Knicks are better off without Julius Randle. And I'm gonna tell you why, because he's a ball-stopper. … So now you've got two guys that are gonna dominate the ball."

House acknowledged that their superb guard Jalen Brunson, who's picked up much of Randle's slack, is ball-dominant as well. But he does his damage in a much different way.

"I think Jalen … he dominates the ball, but he's gonna get others involved. Right? Where Julius Randle is looking just to get his. He's not really a playmaker, you can't really play off of him. You'll just be standing, a statue waiting for him to pass if he doesn't have a shot. … They're the biggest threat … to the Celtics. … When they went out there and put big foot to ass [on], then I said you know what, the way they've been playing, the way [Tom Thibodeau] has them playing — they believe. Jalen Brunson has went to a whole 'nother level. A super baller."

Though conference rankings point to an elevation in play from New York following Randle's departure from the court, some of that movement can be attributed to fluctuations among their opponents as well. Philadelphia, which was third at the time, plummeted to seventh amid Joel Embiid's injury. Both Cleveland and Milwaukee underwent downtrends in momentum as well. 

The Knicks' own numbers before and after Randle's injury though, are strikingly similar. 

Prior to Randle's ailment, the squad went 29-17, good for eighth-best leaguewide. Since, they've gone 21-15 (12th). They had a +5.6 point differential before Jan. 27 (fifth), allowed 109.8 points per game (second), and averaged 115.4 ppg (15th). After that date, they've posted a +3.3 point differential (12th), given up 106.2 ppg (fourth) and averaged 109.5 ppg (23rd). 

The real test for New York though, has just begun, and the basketball world will see just how much Randle means to its lineup when postseason play begins.

[Want great stories delivered right to your inbox? Create or log in to your FOX Sports account, follow leagues, teams and players to receive a personalized newsletter daily.]

FOLLOW Follow your favorites to personalize your FOX Sports experience
National Basketball Association
New York Knicks
Julius Randle

Get more from National Basketball Association Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more