The Knicks need a quick turnaround from Julius Randle to salvage their series with the Hawks, but coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t worried about his star forward, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Randle averaged 24.1 points per game during the regular season, but has been limited to 15, 15 and 14 points as Atlanta has taken a 2-1 series lead.
“Just be Julius. I don’t want him overthinking it,’’ Thibodeau said, per Berman. “Let the game come to you. Sometimes you’re going to get your shots, sometimes you got to make the play. That’s what he’s done extremely well all year long. He’s our engine, he’s a fighter, he’s tough, he’s smart. He’ll figure it out.’’
The Hawks have frustrated Randle with changing coverages, a variety of defenders and frequent double and triple teams. He hasn’t been able to get comfortable in the point forward role he has played all season, and the Knicks don’t have a dependable guard to run their offense.
“It’s been a team effort,’’ Hawks guard Kevin Huerter told reporters. “He’s the head of the snake. When the team is playing at its best, he’s playing at its best. He’s making shots and creating for everyone else. We wanted to make it as tough as we could on him. We’ve thrown different guys at him. We’re just trying to show help when we can and force him into tough shots.’’
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