After a 2021/22 regression from his lone All-NBA Second Team appearance the year before, Knicks power forward Julius Randle is amenable to an increased offensive pace and fewer touches, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Bondy notes that the club’s pace ranked 30th during head coach Tom Thibodeau‘s first season in New York and 29th in 2021/22.
“It’s just the way the game is going,” Randle said of the speed adjustment. “There are so many more possessions, high-scoring games. So, it’s just the way the league is going and an adjustment that everybody has to make.”
Bondy adds that the 27-year-old shed some pounds during the offseason in service of an anticipated uptick in pace this year.
“Because of the strength of the club, we can use him in different ways,” Thibodeau said. “He doesn’t always have to have the ball. He can play off the ball [as a secondary playmaker in transition].”
There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:
- Third-year Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley is hoping to raise his field goal shooting percentage in 2022/23, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. To do that, Quickley has been fleshing his mid-range game over the summer. “I think it will help my field-goal percentage a lot,” the 6’3″ guard out of Kentucky said. “Just being able to do everything when I’m on the floor is a versatility thing I like for myself.” For his career, the 23-year-old is a 39.3% shooter.
- Nets forward Ben Simmons underwent cryotherapy sessions as he rehabilitated his surgically-repaired back during the 2022 offseason, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post (subscriber-only link). “I’ve put myself in position,” Simmons said of his development this summer. “I’ve been working on myself this past year to get back on the floor and play at a high level… I deserve to take this opportunity to get back on the court, so I’m excited to team up with these guys, these coaches.”
- Nets shooting guard Seth Curry has yet to engage in 5-on-5 play with Brooklyn as he continues to work his way back from a May left ankle surgery, reports Nick Friedell of ESPN (Twitter link). Curry indicates that he is continuing to feel comfortable during individual workouts. Friedell adds that head coach Steve Nash remains hopeful that Curry can round into form in time to play in the team’s final preseason game next week.