From Peter Botte:
Julius Randle was in no mood to stick around and talk after the Knicks’ second crushing loss to Philadelphia in less than one week.
The All-Star forward forced overtime with a 3-pointer near the end of regulation, but he was called for what he thought was a “blown call” and a “f—ing ridiculous” loose-ball foul away from the play — leading to go-ahead free throws by Tobias Harris in the closing seconds.
Randle also missed an 18-foot jumper as time expired for an awful 101-100 loss to the Sixers at the Garden, and he stormed away from the podium after answering one question in his postgame Zoom call.
“Blown call by the officials. Not enough contact for them to call the play,” Randle said. “I don’t know who it was — Nerlens [Noel] — but clearly he had possession [of the ball].
“After all the fouling and everything that was going on, for them to call that and decide the game is f—ing ridiculous. They have to do a better job. It’s too many games like this.”
The game was played with two referees because Dannica Mosher was not available due to the league’s health and safety protocols, and both teams complained throughout about the officiating, with both Randle and Thibodeau earning technical fouls earlier in the game.
Randle also had been furious with the officials after he had been called for a travel in the closing seconds of another one-possession loss last Monday in Brooklyn. The NBA ruled the following day that the call was correct.
Isn’t that an odd game recap headline by the Post? It seems more like a side feature and not the recap. Maybe there’s another recap out there that I missed, but I don’t believe so. Odd.
Anyways, it was a thrilling game. A tough loss, but honestly, the Knicks were lucky as fuck to even get to overtime, so I can’t get too upset at them having a tough break there at the end. Thibs was in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation there at the end, as it was such a close call that you gotta take the timeout to preserve the challenge, but obviously they all then saw the replay and knew that there was no way that they would overturn it, as Randle clearly did shove Harris (“They should have let it go!” is something we can all say, but it’s really not much of an argument for an actual NBA player to use). So they at least got to use the timeout to hopefully spook Harris, as Harris did choke on his free throws at the end of the 4th quarter, but I bet Thibs would have loved to have had that timeout back to advance the ball to midcourt and run a legit out of timeout play. But he had to take the timeout to check for the challenge. It was definitely the right call. It just sucked.
Boy, Harris had about as bad of a last couple of seconds of regulation as you possibly could have, letting the game get to overtime on the missed free throws, the Randle circus shot while he was defending him (Randle shoved off there, too, which is why it’s especially weird to be all, “They should have let it go!” when they did let it go earlier) and then losing the ball on the in-bounds play and almost losing the game right there. Crazy stuff.
Anyhow, it was a disappointing loss, but it was still a hard-fought game. Overtime games with Thibs, though, man…hoo boy. Especially as Quickley and Obi were both basically benched at the end of the game and Mitch was hurt. Why do some of these guys have roster spots if they will never, ever ever play? The Knicks just need to get Mitch’s ankle healthy and then sweep these two Wizards games to get back over .500 and with the rest of the Eastern Conference lower class losing games like crazy, they should be fine in the end, and might be in shape to miss the play-in games entirely, especially with LaMelo Ball’s season prematurely over (as an aside, I was just thinking of how fucked up it is that the #7 seed is involved in the play-in games. I know it gives them two-three games instead of one-two games, but it’s really unfair. The idea of the #9 playing the #10 and then the winner playing the #8 seed is a lot more fair).