Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) misses a slam as he...

Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) misses a slam as he is defended by Orlando Magic guard Caleb Houstan, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 23, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. Credit: Kevin Kolczynski

Playing without Jalen Brunson again Monday night as he nursed what the team is calling a sprained right hand it was another game where the Knicks needed to rely on Julius Randle. And after four days of silence, Randle spoke and insisted that while not any closer to perfect than anyone else, he is back in a proper state of mind.

Last we saw, Randle was storming to the locker room at the end of the first half in Orlando Thursday, having been assessed a technical foul for the third straight game and then jawing with teammate Immanuel Quickley as the Knicks guard tried to get him away from referee Leon Wood. 

“Honestly, I got away,” Randle said of the two-days off between games and Sunday’s practice. “I got away and spent time with my youngest. [My older son] Kyden’s not here, so I spent time with my youngest and my family and got to relax and yeah, get away for sure.”

Randle has regained his form this season after struggles last season on the court and off, saying earlier this season that in the offseason he came to the realization that his body language was a problem. And his biggest issue was with the fans at Madison Square Garden, openly feuding with them as the MVP chants from a season earlier turned into boos.

This season he has been a different player and a different person — at least until the recent stretch of games. He said it is balancing the line between competitiveness and, well, whatever lies beyond that.

“Yeah, it’s a line,” Randle said. “It’s a line for sure . . . There’s a balance with everything. I’m obsessive about the game and love the game, very driven and focused, but there’s a balance, too.”

The odd thing is that the first of the three games in which he was hit with a technical foul was last week against Minnesota when he poured in a career-high 57 points. But the not so odd common denominator is that the Knicks have lost all three of the games — missing Brunson in the last game and now again Monday night when the Knicks returned to action against the Houston Rockets.

He addressed the technical fouls — wishfully thinking the final one might be rescinded, an unlikely occurrence since it already was four days later and the league usually responds in quick fashion.

“Leon [Wood], I can’t put it in his hands, but he told me he would talk to them about rescinding it so we’ll see,” Randle said. “Because he said I didn’t curse at him or say anything inappropriate to him or anything like that. Just trying to have a conversation. Maybe it was a little bit quick, maybe it wasn’t. But at the end of the day I can’t put it in his hands like that. 

“I think it’s difficult for everybody. Credit to them, they have a tough job, so it’s tough. When you want to win a game, and certain things get in the way or plays are missed or whatever it is, as a competitor, it’s tough. But they also have a tough job, too.”

What Randle would not discuss was what happened with Quickley, who he went nose-to-nose with after Quickley tried to guide him out of trouble.

“I mean, what happens within our team, happens within our team,” Randle said. “So I’m not going to speak on specifics, on how we handle things. But at the end of the day, we’re a team, we’re good, and we’re just focused on winning.”

“I think we all get angry. We’re all human,” RJ Barrett said on Sunday. “He’s competing. People may have seen a video or whatever, but we all feel like that. Because we compete to win. His competitive spirit is something that also makes him really good. As a team, we understand things happen.”

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