As there have been rumors that the Knicks’ brass was very impressed with RJ’s rookie season, I decided to look at RJ’s last 10 games as that was when he really started to play efficient and well.
RJ Barrett in his last 10 games:
17.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.5 3PTM, 45.7 FG% 36.6 3PT%.
My Thoughts: RJ Barrett sadly was starting to blow up right before the season was suspended. The difference-maker was that he started to shoot the ball much better. The one thing that will separate RJ from being a solid player rather than an all-star and franchise player is his shot. Just like I said in my last post, as he started to play more and more on an NBA level, he started getting more used to NBA Offenses and Defenses and his offensive game started to flow a lot smoother. Hopefully during this break and during the break after the season (if it were to continue), he is in the gym making his shot as smooth as can be, so he can become the franchise piece we hope he can be and have already seen glimpses of.
Bleacher Reports’ Analysis:
“RJ Barrett didn’t make major changes since the start of the season—he just began executing more jumpers and finishes.”
“The highlight of his rookie year came in early March during a win over the Houston Rockets when he led the Knicks with 27 points and hit the game-clinching bucket. It was reassurance that Barrett has top-option potential and the ability to carry a team’s scoring load throughout a game.
Over the season’s most recent month, Barrett showed a better feel when using touch and angles on runners and layups off drives after he’d struggled most of the year at the rim. He doesn’t generate much explosiveness; instead, he has to compensate with footwork, deceleration, body control, and instincts.”
“That’s why his shooting has always been an important swing skill. And in March, he’d been more accurate and confident with stepping into spot-up and pull-up jumpers.”
“His average of 3.2 assists over the last 10 games was also noteworthy, as his playmaking and passing skills look like potential strengths to build on.”
“Despite the inefficiency, the 19-year-old didn’t operate like a typical teenager—physically or mentally. He fearlessly played through contact. And through 45 losses, a coaching change, and front-office upheaval, Barrett’s approach and demeanor never wavered”