NBA Analyst Stephen A. Smith Warns Knicks Coach Tom Thibodeau About His Usage of Julius Randle

Published 03/11/2021, 6:00 AM EST
Feb 15, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks’ Julius Randle (30) shoots in front of Atlanta Hawks’ John Collins (20) and Trae Young (11) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jason DeCrow/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


The New York Knicks have improved greatly this season. Under coach Tom Thibodeau, this Knicks team has turned their fortunes around. Julius Randle has been playing the best basketball of his life and even earned a well-deserved All-Star nomination this year. But the Knicks may face a problem, according to one NBA analyst.

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Julius Randle on the verge of exhaustion?

NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith spoke about the New York Knicks recently. He believes that Tom Thibodeau has done a great job with this franchise. However, he noted that he runs the risk of exhausting Julius Randle and believes that Randle should not be playing for so many minutes. The same thing happened in the past with Tibs in Chicago.

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Smith said, “You can’t have Julius Randle playing back to back, 38 minutes and 40 minutes per night like he did prior to the NBA All-Star break. You can’t have stuff like that happening, you don’t want to do that to him… You have to monitor the minutes guys play because of Thibodeau’s reputation in Chicago. That’s what you have to be careful of.”

Julius Randle has been the best player for the Knicks by some margin. The recent All-Star has been putting up excellent numbers this season. However, he has been playing a lot of minutes throughout the season, and there is concern that Randle could face exhaustion going into the second half of the season. The Knicks are fighting for a playoff spot and will need Randle healthy.

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Randle is playing excellent basketball

Randle has been excellent this season and is averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. Furthermore, he has been crucial to the Knicks having a respectable record this season. Currently, the Knicks have a 19-18 record and have the number five seed in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks have a chance to reach the playoffs for the first time in several years.

Feb 21, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks looks to pass as Jarred Vanderbilt #8 and Anthony Edwards #1 of the Minnesota Timberwolves defend during the first half at Madison Square Garden on February 21, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Can Randle lead the Knicks to the playoffs this season? If he continues averaging the numbers that he has, the Knicks will be confident about their abilities. However, there is still a lot of basketball left to be played before the end of the season, and the Knicks are in pole position to get a spot in the playoffs this season.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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