LOS ANGELES — The Knicks arrived star-deprived Thursday night to begin their five-game western trip.
No rising stars. No current stars.
On Thursday, the NBA released its All-Star reserves and Julius Randle was — as expected — locked out, giving him a shot at a second consecutive appearance in the All-Star Game, set to take place in Cleveland on February 20. denied.
“No,” Randle said when asked if he was disappointed. “I try to win games. That’s what I get paid for, winning games.”
Randle missed out on a $600,000 All-Star bonus. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said Randle is being treated like an All-Star given the attention he gets from opposing defenses. But the coach said he didn’t get the coaching vote roster because of the Knicks’ 24-28 record — putting them currently out of the Eastern Conference play-in round.
“In any given year there are always some guys who deserve it and don’t get it,” said Thibodeau. “There aren’t enough places for guys who have had years of the All-Star type. A lot of that is it. success of the team I know by voting it is a difficult position for coaches to be in You come to the end and you struggle with it You have three or four men and two spots or one spot You say how go “I decide who really gets there? Usually the next criterion is what the impact is on the team. Which team does better.”
When asked if Randle is playing at All-Star level, Thibodeau said: “Yeah, if you look at all the things he does, our team hasn’t played with what we should be doing. There are many things that come into play.”
Randle’s biggest drop in numbers is his 3-point shooting, which dropped from 41.4 percent to 30.3 percent.
Randle, who didn’t speak to the press on Wednesday after the Knicks’ loss to Memphis, explained why he sat down with the Grizzlies to pick up a double-tech story with Desmond Bane, who pushed him. Randle also took a second technical run with 34 seconds left, leading to an automatic ejection.
“I do it all the time, when I get out of timeout,” Randle said. “I think I’m almost trying to cheat and see what the other team is doing. And I snuck over there to their bench to see what was on the board. Bane pushed me a little bit, I pushed him back. That was the.”
LeBron James has missed the last five Lakers games with knee irritation. He threatens to miss Saturday’s game, which would mean he would not play against the Knicks for the second consecutive season. He played neither game last season and missed the Garden game on November 23.
“You prepare both ways,” said Thibodeau. “Whether he plays or not, you have to have a plan when he plays and a plan when he doesn’t.”
Former Knick Carmelo Anthony injured his hamstring against the Clippers on Thursday and will likely be out as well.