Julius Randle has been playing out of his mind for the Knicks all season, but at what point should he be considered as an MVP candidate?
What Julius Randle is doing right now for the Knicks is truly amazing.
Is a season where other stars like MVP candidates Giannis Antetokounmpo (9 games missed) and Joel Embiid (18 games missed) have sat for “load management,” Randle has played in all but one Knicks contest and has them sitting at a surprising fourth-place rank in the eastern conference.
All season long Randle’s surrounding cast has been lacking in consistency and talent. Whether it’s been due to COVID protocols or injuries Randle has been forced to play with many different pieces around him, particularly at the center and guard positions.
Randle has his Knicks in the midst of an eight-game winning streak and is averaging 30 points, 9 rebounds, and 6.25 assists over that stretch. On the year his numbers sit at 23.9 points 10.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists and yet he isn’t even expected to finish in the top five.
Many people define MVP differently. I believe it’s the player who is most valuable to his team as the name suggests, not necessarily the best player in the league. For example, if you take Randle off the Knicks, they would not be competitive. But if you take Giannis off the Bucks or Embiid off the 76ers they are both still playoff teams.
Of all the players in the league, Randle is the most indispensable to his team. That doesn’t change the fact he will most likely not win the award. But in terms of being the ultimate leader and team player – the guy who makes everyone better, always shows up, and always performs, it’s hard to find better than the face of the Knicks.
take any of the other guys off their team they are still contenders or in the playoffs, not the case with Randle makes him more valuable.