New York Knicks

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle wins 2021 Most Improved Player of the Year award

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle capped off his stellar season, being named the NBA's Most Improved Player for the 2020-21 season.

Randle's son Kyden surprised him with the trophy during Knicks practice as he became the first player in franchise history to win the award.

He ran away with the award, earning 98 out of a possible 100 first-place votes, beating out Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant and Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr.

The 26-year-old was a key part of the Knicks' revival this season, earning his first All-Star selection and leading them back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.

His numbers took a huge leap in 2020-21, averaging career-highs across the board with 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game this season, becoming just the second player in NBA history to average 20/10/5 on 40% shooting from three in a season, joining Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird, per StatMuse.

With those numbers, Randle is just the sixth player in NBA history to average at least 24.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in a season, joining Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Nikola Jokic, Oscar Robertson, and Russell Westbrook

His drastic improvement from a below-average 3-point shooter, to one of the best marksmen in the league, transformed his game as he jumped from shooting 27.7 percent last season to 41.1 percent on 5.5 attempts per game.

Randle: By the Numbers

Year PTS REB AST 3P%
2019-20 19.5 9.7 3.1 28%
2020-21 24.1 10.2 6.0 41%

His improvement didn't just come on the offensive end, with the 26-year-old making big strides defensively, becoming a pivotal part in leading the Knicks to the fourth-ranked defence in the league.

More importantly, his play helped the Knicks improve from a 21-45 record last season to securing the No.4 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 41-31 record, earning home-court advantage in the first round of the post-season.

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