The New York Knicks needed a spark against the Orlando Magic, and they found it with reserve point guard Chasson Randle.
When the New York Knicks released veteran point guard Brandon Jennings to open up a roster spot for unproven rookie Chasson Randle, the word tanking began to rear its ugly head. Randle was a star for the Knicks’ D-league affiliate but was let go by the Sixers after only appearing in eight games.
In Monday’s win against the Orlando Magic, the 24-year-old proved that he could be a valuable tool for New York. That is if they want to win games of course.
With Carmelo Anthony sitting out due to a sore left knee, somebody needed to provide a spark off the bench.
Rose vs. Randle
Derrick Rose played 27 minutes and shot 2 of 9 from the field and posted 12 points and 6 assists. The eight-year veteran had a team worst Net Rating of -36.1.
Randle played 26 minutes and shot 2 of 7 from the field and posted 7 points and 5 assists. The rookie had a Net Rating of +49.9.
Randle may not have shot the ball well, but the offense just flowed better when he was out there.
Especially during the fourth quarter when he supplanted the struggling Rose as the floor general for the final 12 minutes. The Knicks went on a 19 to 4 run to open the quarter and didn’t look back.
Randle kept the ball moving. Despite his significant impact, the former NIT Most Outstanding Player had a low usage percentage (13.6 percent).
The rookie had three secondary (hockey) assists, and one free throw assist to go along with his five assists. This play is exactly what Phil Jackson wants to see.
The point guard passing it into the post for a big (Willy Hernangomez) to dish it off to a cutting wing player (Justin Holiday).
Randle had 56 touches and made 46 passes. The brand new Knick apparently wanted to make an impact as an unselfish player in his first legitimate minutes.
After one game it already looks like Randle is a better fit for this team going forward than Rose. Especially if they plan to run the triangle offense that even Rose himself has implied he isn’t a great fit.
Driving and Dishing
The Knicks only have one guy who can drive to the basket and break down the defense: Rose. Last night, Randle showed he was the second.
Per NBA.com, the rookie drove to the basket seven times. He passed on three of them, and they led to two of his five assists. If he can improve on that field goal percentage (1 of 4) he can have an even bigger impact.
Having another guy who’s able to drive the lane and create opportunities in the paint is huge for the Knicks. Rose isn’t big on passing when he gets to the rim.
Randle amped up the intensity to a typically lazy Knicks defense with three deflections. The Knicks are 20th in deflections this season.
The youngster had an average speed of 4.56 mph (second on the team) and ran for 1.97 miles (fourth).
Randle only needed one game to prove that his cult status among Knicks fans is warranted. In the D-league Randle was a scorer, logging over 20 points per game, but on Monday he was the pass-first playmaking point guard that the Knicks needed.
New York is third in passes made per game, but just 20th in assists per game. It means they’re a lowly 27th in assist to pass percentage.
- All stats are via NBA.com.