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Alvin Gentry weighs in on Julius Randle’s Knicks struggles

Emotions have gotten the higher of Julius Randle throughout his disappointing season.

Whether it’s been railing on the referees, his thumbs-down gesture to the followers or refusal to fulfill with the press after a number of video games since mid-December, the 2020-21 All-Star has acted extra like a hothead than a heavenly physique.

Sacramento coach Alvin Gentry, his former coach with the Pelicans, noticed firsthand Randle have fiery moments in New Orleans, the place he performed in 2018-19.

“Obviously, it’s just a little bit completely different once you play in this metropolis,’’ Gentry stated. “You have to be robust in all areas. He’s a reasonably emotional man. But I feel it’s all for the higher to me. We had episodes of that. I feel it comes from a great place. I loved teaching him and he performed actually good basketball for us.’’

There’s been rumors the Kings, who’ve thought of dealing level guard De’Aaron Fox, might have some curiosity in reuniting Gentry and Randle.

Julius Randle and former coach Alvin Gentry
AP, Getty Images

“I feel he’s a greater participant [than in New Orleans],’’ Gentry stated. “And he was an excellent participant for us. He was excellent for us, actually. I feel he’s slowed himself down just a little bit. Now I do know he’s struggling a bit proper now but it surely’s by no means due to effort. He hasn’t shot the ball as nicely. But the best way he assaults the basket, and his potential to deal with the ball in the open courtroom and create performs are all issues he was beginning to do when he was in New Orleans and I feel he’s a lot, a lot better at it proper now. A very good man to educate as a result of he loves the competitors and doesn’t thoughts the contact.’’

Indeed, Randle nonetheless has been a freight practice in roughhousing to the rim however can’t knock down a soar shot this season. His 3-point capturing has fallen from 41.1 % to 30 % in one season.

In 13 video games in January, Randle has averaged simply 16 factors — scoring 11 factors or much less in 4 contests.

“I don’t need to measure him on scoring,’’ Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau stated. “I need to measure him on all of the issues he does for our crew and that’s a compilation of numerous issues, whether or not it’s the playmaking, enjoying with pace, getting it up the ground fast, him working the ground. We’ve acquired to determine tips on how to get him some simple buckets too. I need us play with extra tempo, kick the ball forward extra, hopefully we are able to get some simple buckets that manner.’’

Fox (sore ankle) missed his fifth straight sport because the Kings completed their five-game, 11-day highway journey. … Before Monday, there have been simply 4 groups the Knicks hadn’t confronted this season. Sacramento and Memphis have been two of them and the Knicks face them consecutively. The Grizzlies go to Wednesday. Utah and Portland are the opposite groups the Knicks haven’t performed they usually go to each on their upcoming western journey.