Julius Randle was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for April, joining Patrick Ewing and Carmelo Anthony as the only New York Knicks to win the award.
The sixth-year forward averaged 27.1 points, nine rebounds, and 6.3 assists over 15 games. New York went 11-4 in that stretch, including a nine-game winning streak.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry won the award in the Western Conference. Previously this season, both players won the Player of the Week award simultaneously as well.
Randle is the Official Carmelo Successor
Julius Randle is the best Knick since Carmelo Anthony, and it’s not particularly close.
Some would even argue what he’s done this season could surpass number seven’s greatest year in New York, dependent upon the team’s pending playoff success.
The Knicks are 37-28 and in sole possession of the fourth seed in the East.
That means they’ll have home court, something Anthony’s New York teams ever accomplished just once.
New York is Julius Randle’s city, arguably for as long as he wants it. The 26-year old has one year remaining on his contract, with extension talks this offseason inevitable.
Either way, he’s made his mark on Knicks history.
As the season heads toward a close, and the New York Knicks’ resurgence becomes real to the eyes of the NBA, Julius Randle has gained some hype as a candidate for the MVP award.
This season’s previous leaders, Joel Embiid and LeBron James, both suffered injuries that derailed their campaigns. Randle has played all but one game for the Knicks.
His candidacy took center stage on Sunday night when he received “MVP!” chants at the Toyota Center in Houston, notably 239 miles away from his hometown in Dallas.
When Marc Berman of the New York Post asked Randle about the talk of his being eligible, the forward replied in true MVP-fashion, deferring to the success of his team:
For sure, I’m not going to shy away from it. For me, it’s about getting better from game to game, improving as a player. I’m not focused on it. The praise obviously is great and everything but I’m not focused on it. All I’m worried about is getting better, keep leading the team game to game. Our team, I feel like we can compete against anybody.
The Knicks will take on the clubhouse leader for MVP on Wednesday night in Denver.
Nikola Jokic is having a phenomenal sixth season, nearly averaging a triple-double: 26.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals. The Nuggets are 43-22.
Teammate Taj Gibson agrees that Randle should be in the running for the award:
I’d put him at the top as well. You look at the body of work Julius has put together on a night-to-night basis. Being really professional, especially in a tough market. People understand how tough it is to play in New York and bringing a winning mentality back to the Knicks. Julius has earned credit for the MVP race. He deserves it.
For now, for Randle, the goal remains the same: win. And that’s what the New York Knicks have done, officially clinching their first winning season since 2013 after Monday night’s win in Memphis.
Updated Knicks Playoff Odds
After their win over the Houston Rockets, the New York Knicks are 36-28.
That’s good for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, three games back of the third-seed Milwaukee Bucks.
According to Five Thirty Eight’s forecast, their chances at making the playoffs have climbed to 97 percent.
But the website is still giving the team a less than one percent shot at making and/or winning the 2021 NBA Finals.
That number could increase if they retain homecourt going into the postseason.
New York’s currently got a game and a half lead over the fifth-seed Atlanta Hawks, a two-game lead over both the sixth-seed Miami Heat, and a three-game lead over the seventh-seed Boston Celtics.
Action Network is giving the Knicks a 62.6 percent chance to enter the playoffs as the fourth seed.
Tankathon.com has New York’s remaining schedule as the third-toughest in the entire NBA.
Seven games to go.
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