ORLANDO, Fla. — James Dolan should probably pay Julius Randle’s fine of $15,000 for tossing the ball into the stands after the Knicks’ season-opening victory Wednesday.
And head coach Tom Thibodeau might want to pay Randle’s smaller fine from Friday night, when he was assessed a technical foul with 4:30 left in the 121-96 rout of the Magic after receiving a hard foul.
Randle probably shouldn’t have been in the game with the Knicks up 28 points after he played 46 minutes in the double-overtime victory Wednesday, but Thibodeau is going to Thibodeau.
Randle came roaring in on a fastbreak and was taken down hard by Magic big man Wendell Carter Jr. Randle didn’t appreciate it, and he rose up and pushed Carter, drawing a technical, which comes with a $2,500 fine.
Randle had just banked in a 3-pointer to put the Knicks up 31, laughed on the way downcourt, then stole the ball on the other end. As Randle raced in for a fastbreak, Carter took him out.
“You’re 30, 35 whatever it was, open-court layup, dunk. Me personally, I would just let it go,’’ Randle said. “But he didn’t. And it’s fine. I understand it. Maybe they’re trying to build a culture. It’s perfectly fine. It’s a hard foul. Hard foul me and I’m going to push you regardless. Really not a big deal. I don’t have no bad blood with those guys.’’
Told that the Magic might not have appreciated Randle still being in the contest at that point dunking on them, he said: “Possibly, home opener, I understand it. I’ve been on a young team like that, developing, everybody is trying to figure it out, find their way. I get it.’’
Thibodeau took Randle out right after he shot the free throws for Kevin Knox and soon emptied his bench, even playing 15th man Wayne Selden.
Thibodeau smirked as the question came about his habit of keeping in his starters late in blowouts.
“The one thing I can assure you, if I play him too much, you’re going to let me know,’’ Thibodeau said. “If I don’t play him enough, you’re going to let me know. And one thing is for certain it’s never the right amount.’’
Thibodeau said center Nerlens Noel, who missed all of preseason and the first two games with a knee and hamstring soreness, could return next week.
“He’s getting close, moving along,’’ Thibodeau said. “When he’s ready, he’ll go.’’
Taj Gibson missed a second straight game Friday after he became a father Tuesday. … With Noel and Gibson out, Thibodeau used rookie center Jericho Sims for 10 minutes of the second half and he was a plus-15.
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