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Underrated and Undervalued, ECF Player of the Week, Julius Randle

In the world of professional basketball, there are players who often go unnoticed despite their immense contributions to their teams. One such player is Julius Randle of the New York Knicks. While his shooting struggled at the start of this NBA season, his ability to impact the game in other ways, such as rebounding and facilitating, played a crucial role in the Knicks' success thus far.

If we highlight his struggles, we have to highlight how Randle turned that same struggle into strength. At the beginning of the season, Randle faced shooting struggles that could have easily affected his overall performance. However, instead of letting it define him, he focused on other aspects of his game. His rebounding prowess and his ability to create opportunities for his teammates through facilitating became instrumental in the Knicks' victories. Despite his shooting struggles, Randle's determination and adaptability allowed him to contribute significantly to his team's success.

The numbers speak for themselves. His rebounding numbers have been exceptional throughout the season, consistently putting him among the top power forwards in the league. He is currently ranked fifth in defensive rebounding this season, Randle’s ability to secure possessions for his team and limit opponents’ second-chance opportunities have been instrumental in the Knicks' success. Last week, he showcased his all-around skills with an impressive performance, recording a remarkable  25 points,  20 rebounds and five assists against Charlotte. Additionally, Randle's facilitating skills have been on display, with his assists per game at 5.5. These stats highlight his versatility and his commitment to making a positive impact on the court, even when his shooting is not at its best.

Randle's efforts did not go unnoticed this week. In recognition of his outstanding performances, he was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week with averages of 24.7 points per game, 13.3 rebounds per game and 7.3 assists per game. This accolade further solidifies his importance to the Knicks and showcases his ability to rise above adversity. Randle's dedication and hard work have been recognized by the league, and it is high time the media and fans acknowledge his contributions as well.

Despite his consistent improvement and undeniable impact on the court, Randle often finds himself underappreciated. The media and fans tend to focus on his flaws rather than recognizing the positive contributions he brings to the game. It is essential to shift the narrative and appreciate Randle for the work he puts in day in and day out. He has embraced a role that was not initially his own and has grown into a key player for the Knicks. His durability, multiple All-Star selections as a Knick, and his passion for the game deserve more recognition.

Randle's journey in the NBA has been one of resilience and growth. With his recent recognition as the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, it is time to acknowledge Randle as one of the top power forwards in the Eastern Conference. Let us appreciate his contributions on and off the court and give him the respect he truly deserves.

This Tuesday night, the  New York Knicks face a crucial matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks in the in-season tournament. With hopes of advancing to the next round and potentially facing the Indiana Pacers, his performance will be pivotal in securing a victory for his team. As the leader and a key player for the Knicks, Randle needs to step up and deliver a standout performance to lead his team to success.

Kenny Saint-Vil
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