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Julius Randle hits Carmelo Anthony, Bernard King Knicks records with 44-point explosion

Knicks Julius Randle Carmelo Anthony

The New York Knicks. Remember them? They’re the always-popular and always-incompetent franchise that somehow manages to keep its city in the clutches of the grubby James Dolan. Well, somehow, against all odds, the Knicks have managed to be, brace yourselves…good.

What’s their secret, you ask? Well the answer to that question is just as surprising as the Knicks themselves: Julius Randle. Or, more specifically, the development of Julius Randle. Check out this year-to-year stat that just dropped about Randle’s Knicks. With their most recent win on Thursday against Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks, the Knicks are above .500 (30-27) and in comfortable possession of the Eastern Conference’s 6th seed, out of danger from this year’s dreaded play-in tournament between the 7-10 seeds.

At the helm, as he has been all season, was Randle, who came through in a historically big way:

Not enough for you? Check this out:

You read that stat line right. Julius Randle (44 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists) is the first Knick to post such a stat line in nearly 40 years.

Just a year ago, Knicks fans were clamoring for Randle’s head and praying to the basketball gods that RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson were going to develop quickly enough to get rid of him. He was middling, unexciting, and worst of all, expensive. But fast forward to this season, and Randle is now the lynchpin of one of the more heartwarming comeback stories in the NBA. No one really expects a player to make the leap to stardom in his seventh season, especially on the Knicks no less, but Randle has seemingly found his home in New York, and possibly with head coach Tom Thibodeau.

For reference: Randle is averaging career highs in all three major counting stats, as well as triple doubles and three point percentage (40%!). The fact that these increased stats are also resulting in wins means that his efficiency has not wavered, and indeed it hasn’t. He has turned the corner himself to become a legitimate two-way star in this league, and his never-say-die attitude has proven to be infectious with his teammates.

Knicks fans have been desperate for a legitimate star that they could put their arms around, and the team is infamous for stretching to acquire fringe players. But Randle has grown into a true hometown hero for New York, at least for now, and the Knicks are actually winning with him at the helm.

You can point to any number of reasons for this recent run of success. But everything stems from Julius Randle himself, and if he believes he can beat anyone, the Knicks believe they can beat anyone too.