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RJ Barrett, Julius Randle list reasons Knicks are shocking NBA


The New York Knicks have become the surprise team of the young season so far, starting the 2020-21 campaign with a 4-3 mark. Much of their success early on this season has been in large part due to the emergence of RJ Barrett and Julius Randle to begin the year. Nonetheless, while the spotlight has been on the two young stars, they also gave plenty of high praise to head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Randle said Thibodeau has been pressing on them everyday and has done a great job in terms of preparing them for their matchups. The Knicks big man added that the mindset they enter each game with has been a huge factor in their success so far.

Via Coby Green of SNY:

“I like the confidence of our group,” Randle said after the win in Atlanta. “Every game we come in we expect to win, even if it’s a (tough) matchup we expect to win the game. And I love that about our group. And I think it’s also a testament to the coaches. [Coach Tom Thibodeau] every day is on us. He’s a great leader for us and giving us a game plan we believe in every day and we’re coming into every game focused and locked into the game plan of what we need to do.

Barrett added that everything trickles down from Thibodeau and how he has instilled a mindset for the Knicks to just go hard every night:

“Playing hard. That’s it,” Barrett said of the team’s solid start “We’re playing hard every single night. We’re fighting. As long as we do that, we should be ok.”

“It starts with Thibs and then it goes all the way down. Julius is tough every night. It goes all the way down the line. Everybody that comes in the game plays hard, plays with an edge. Everybody on the team contributes in many different ways and it’s been great so far.”

New York has certainly turned heads with a strong start, with quality wins over playoff-caliber teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, and, most recently, the Atlanta Hawks. Of course, there’s still a possibility the wheels eventually fall off. Nonetheless, this encouraging start should give the Knicks hope they can compete for a playoff spot in the East.