15 July 2024

Dressed in a gray-hooded sweatsuit, Julius Randle took his seat at the end of the Knicks’ bench Thursday night for the first time since he underwent season-ending shoulder surgery last month.

Coach Tom Thibodeau noted the importance of the three-time All-Star’s presence, and being able to share in the team’s first-round ouster of the 76ers in Game 6 in Philadelphia.

It was great, it was great to see him,” Thibodeau said after the win, which sets up a second-round matchup against the Pacers. “You miss the smile. You’re talking about, and people tend to forget because he’s been out for a while, but he’s an All-Star and an All-NBA player. We said it all season long that we knew we couldn’t replace him individually, we had to do it collectively. And that’s what makes the group so good.”

he’s out, how do we compensate for that? Everyone has to pitch in and do it a little bit more and play great defense, the things we can do as a team.

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