MIAMI – Julius Randle has now played in twelve post-season games in his NBA career, and hasn’t converted at least half of his field goal attempts in any of them.
Randle’s latest inaccurate performance came in the Knicks’ Game 3 loss to the Heat on Saturday, where he finished 4-for-15 overall while missing all five of his three-point attempts.
Randle, who missed Game 1 of the second-round series due to re-injuring his ankle, shoots 34.6 percent from the floor in seven playoff games against the Cavaliers and Heat, down from 45.9 percent during the regular season.
He also endured his first playoff appearance in a five-game first round loss in 2021 against the Hawks, finishing that streak with a . 298 shooting percentage.
“Some shapes are different. “The defense is a little bit tighter,” Randle said Sunday in a video news conference. “So I’ll have to do a better job of finding ways to implement that, but I’ll be fine.”
The Knicks need their leading scorer and lone All-Star to be better than this Monday night in Game 4, or risk returning to New York holed up 3-1 in the series and on the brink of a second-round elimination.
Randle’s 3-point shutout — offset by a 0-for-5 night from distance by point guard Jalen Bronson — was part of an 8-for-40 combined error from outside the arc by the Knicks.
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Including a 7-for-34 showing in their Game 1 defeat, the Knicks shoot 20.4 percent in 3s in two losses and nearly double (16-for-40, 40 percent) in their only Game 2 win.
“We had a good look when we got it right,” Randle said of Saturday’s game. Getting the ball into the paint, they’re an overly helping team and they’ll fall apart. So when we do, we’re confident in the look we’re getting and we’re confident we can beat it.”
The two-time powerhouse All-Star forward refused to point to his swollen ankle — which also cost him his last five regular season games — as an excuse for his poor shooting numbers.
However, the Knicks still need him and the rest of the team to be more efficient on offense – and bring more power to both ends of the field – starting Monday night.
“You take the feelings out of him. You learn from the game before. 323,” said Randle, who has a postseason shooting percentage of . 323. “You learn from the game before, what you can do better. Prepare mentally, do what you have to do to prepare for it.
“But this is something we’ve been doing our whole lives. So one match will not determine how we feel in the next match or what we think will be in the future. Every match is different and we have to treat it accordingly. We do our best to prepare for every match.”