Love-Hate Knicks

The Knicks were 1-229 when trailing by at least 25 over the past 25 seasons — until RJ Barrett hit a buzzer-beater in Thursday’s thrilling 108-105 victory over the Celtics.

It was certainly cause for celebration, but after a night of scattered booing from the MSG faithful amid some giant deficits, Julius Randle wasn’t having it — and gave the crowd a thumbs-down.

Like his Mets counterpart Javier Baez last summer, Randle symbolizes a New York team that seemingly can’t handle the pressure of high expectations —and coming off last season’s 4-seed, they’ve been the highest the Knicks (19-20) have seen in a long time.

Currently in 10th place, Randle and co. have to consider whether the criticism isn’t warranted.

  • New York is 20th in defensive rating (109.6) after finishing fourth last year (107.8).
  • Their 104.8 PPG is the fourth-lowest in the NBA — they’re failing to score 100 points in one of three games they play.
  • Randle averaged 24.1 PPG last season but only 19.6 PPG on 42.2% shooting this season — the second-lowest FG% of his career.

In the offseason, Randle became the highest-paid Knick after signing a four-year, $117 million extension. If he wants Knicks fans to stop booing, he’ll need to be the on-court leader he was last year.

It won’t get any easier — the Knicks have the second-toughest remaining schedule in the NBA.