By BRIAN MAHONEY
AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Julius Randle wasn’t quite as good. The New York Knicks weren’t nearly as good. A rare playoff appearance in 2021 was followed by the familiar struggles in New York, where the Knicks went 37-45 in Tom Thibodeau’s second season as coach. They don’t deny the disappointment but insist things aren’t that bad. The Knicks went 41-31 last season, finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference. Thibodeau was voted Coach of the Year and Randle the Most Improved Player. They hoped to come back even better. Instead, they fell all the way to 11th in the East.