New York Nicks are 4th in the Eastern Conference, something unthinkable a few years back. This feat´s hero: Julius Randle. The power forward is on the best moment of his career and has settled down at the madison Square Garden franchise.
From discard at Los Angeles to a star in New York:
Julius Randle was selected as the 7th pick in the 2014 Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, but his debut couldn´t have been worst: a tibia fracture on his right leg made him to miss the entire season. Then, after several years in California, a deep rebuild by Magic Johnson left him out of the team in 2018.
He was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans, where he reached his personal scoring points record in a single game (45) against the Portland Trail Blazers. However, his adventure at New Orleans only lasted for a year, as he was signed by the New York Knicks in 2019 in exchange for 63 million dollars and a three-year contract.
Julius Randle has consolidated since then as one of the stars in the league, as he even was selected to participate in the last All-Star to play for Kevin Durant´s team. The power forward averages 24.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 6 assists per game this season, his best numbers in the NBA. Furthermore, he has won the Player of the 17th Week award in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks are back into the battle:
The last time that the Knicks made it to the Playoffs was almost a decade ago, in the 2012-2013 season. That team was led by Carmelo Anthony and a very young Jeremy Lin (currently in the G-League) who took over the main role in the squad after Anthony´s injury and earned the “Linsanity” nickname. Those Knicks fell to the Indiana Pacers in Conference Semifinals. Nothing since then.
Being a Knicks fan must be a sacrifice, as you have to put up with the fact that your team is one of the worse in the league year after year and the Draft Lottery luck avoids you every time. However, Knicks crowd has reasons to smile today. They are 4th in the Eastern Conference with 35 wins and 28 defeats. They have in front the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks. Atlanta Hawks are right behind.
It all points out to the Knicks making it finally to the Playoffs and we will have to pay attention to them as this lost team now has a new captain, Julius Randle. Will they manage to get far? Why couldn´t they dream of winning the ring?
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.