The Knicks’ preseason win over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night was a once-in-a-lifetime family affair for Julius Randle.
A day after welcoming their new son, Jayce, into the world, the Knicks’ All-Star big man and his wife, Kendra, watched the game together on television with their 4-year-old son, Kyden, and his new baby brother.
"At first Kyden didn’t like it. He was like, ‘Dad, why are you here?’ " Randle said with a laugh Monday. "He was upset. I had to explain it to him. It was really cool for our family to bring in a new addition and just the four of us to sit around and watch Knicks basketball on a Saturday night. It was amazing."
Randle was back practicing with his teammates on Monday and is expected to play in the preseason game against the Pistons on Wednesday. Though he doesn’t expect to do it again anytime soon, he did say that watching the game on television gave him a unique perspective. He especially liked watching coach Tom Thibodeau at work.
"It was amazing, man," Randle said. "Obviously, you always wish you can be out there, but just being able to watch the guys, seeing our team developing from afar — every day, we’re taking steps forward to get better. It’s also fun when you’re watching it from home, you hear commentary. You can hear Thibs’ voice. So I heard a lot of Thibs screaming up 20, and that was good to hear from afar, too. So I enjoyed it."
One of his big takeaways from the game was just how many three-pointers the Knicks are putting up. When camp began, Thibodeau stated a goal of putting up 37 to 40 three-point attempts per game. In the opener, they launched 37. In Washington, they had 52 attempts and converted 24 — a total that would have shattered the franchise record for made threes in a game (20) if this had been a regular-season game.
"Yeah, it’s definitely been an area of focus for us, a point of emphasis that Thibs has definitely installed in our team," Randle said. "And that’s about movement and creating good threes.
"Some teams want to take 40, 50 threes, but a lot of them might be bad threes: contested, no ball movement. For us, it’s all about pacing and spacing and making the right play, rim reads and creating good threes. And I feel like that’s what we’re doing."
Notes & quotes: Thibodeau said Mitchell Robinson, who hasn’t played since undergoing surgery for a broken foot six months ago, is participating in "most of practice right now." Thibodeau declined to predict whether Robinson will be able to participate in the preseason but believes he has made progress. "Each day he has done more," Thibodeau said. "The final step will be full contact. He’s taken some contact and he’s pretty close to that right now.So we will see.'' . . . Derrick Rose (ankle) and Nerlens Noel (knee) practiced in full and likely will play Wednesday in the Knicks’ third preseason game.