New York Knicks star Julius Randle admitted that he has to play better after his team's loss to the Denver Nuggets. Randle scored a team-high 24 points, had seven rebounds and eight rebounds but that wasn't enough for the Knicks to beat the Nuggets.
"I have to be better. Everybody has to be better," Randle said after New York's 113-99 loss to Denver, a deceiving scoreline from a game that saw the Knicks trail by 30 with eight minutes to go. "I'll take responsibility for the team.
I'll take responsibility for myself. That doesn't bother me. At the end of the day, I just wanna win. I think everybody ... well, I know everybody in that locker room wants to win, too. "We gotta look ourselves in the mirror and decide what we want the season to be.
I know what I want it to be. I know what the guys want it to be. But we have to commit to it, and that's just really what it is."
RJ Barrett agrees with Randle
Knicks guard Barrett, who finished with 13 points, acknowledged the Knicks have to be better and admitted they lack effort.
"I think just our effort," Barrett said, when asked what it will take to fix it. "That's really what defense is, is just effort. Thibs is a great defensive mind, so it's really just up to us to bring that intensity and that urgency to play defense and get stops.
... We just gotta find it. That's it." Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau wants to see maximum effort from his team going forward. "There's no magic to that," Thibodeau said. "We got into it together, we've got to get out of it together.
It's players, coaches, everybody. "Where does intensity come from? It comes from maximum effort and maximum concentration. That's where it comes from. So we've got to do those two things." Randle is confident the Knicks have a defense good enough to help them win games.
"We're going to win games with our defense," said Randle. "That's who we are. We're not the superstars, three, four superstars on the team like Brooklyn or all these other teams. We're a team. How we were last year, how we have to be this year as well, we have to win games with our defense." The Knicks own a 11-12 record through the first 23 games.