New York Knicks: R.J. Barrett Continues to Step Up
Second-year player R.J. Barrett struggled during his rookie season. He was the third overall pick out of Duke University and a lot of people were wondering if the New York Knicks failed and made another bust with that pick. Barrett has New York at 4-3 so far this season, including a 113-108 win over the Atlanta Hawks on the road.
R.J. Barrett is improving his game in his second season under new Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau preaches on playing on both ends of the floor. Barrett was a solid two-way player at Duke University under Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
In the game on Monday night, Barrett scored 26 points. He shot 52.6 percent from the field. R.J. Barrett also grabbed 11 rebounds and recorded five assists.
He is the heartbeat and the heart and soul of the New York Knicks. R.J. Barrett has the potential to be a superstar in the NBA one day, but it is going to take time.
In seven games played so far this season, Barrett is averaging 18.3 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 3.7 APG, 0.0 BPG, and 0.9 SPG. He probably will not be in the All-Star Game this season and their isn’t one anyways, but R.J. Barrett could be in the running for the Most Improved Player Award in the NBA.
The New York Knicks will be in good hands potentially for years to come with him. When fans are allowed back at Madison Square Garden, it will be interesting to see how electrifying it is to see R.J. Barrett in the Garden.
He could be a Top 25 player in the NBA, but Barrett is not their just yet. He can score the basketball and also defend. For right now, Julius Randle might be the best player on the New York Knicks and they have some other promising players on the roster as well here.
R.J. Barrett was one of three players drafted out of Duke University in the 2019 NBA Draft. Forward Zion Williamson went number one overall to the New Orleans Pelicans. Forward Cam Reddish went number 10 overall to the Atlanta Hawks.
R.J. Barrett is only 20 years old. He is still young and has a lot of time to learn the game of basketball at the professional level. The New York Knicks have not been relevant in years.
It appeared as if New York was going to be a laughing stock heading into this season, but R.J. Barrett has found a way to not make them one. He is going to be a stud for years to come. Barrett has the potential to be more than just a starter at the NBA level.
New York Knicks fans are excited about what he can bring to the table and it will be interesting to see if he can keep this up moving forward for the New York Knicks as well here.
What kind of basketball player do you think R.J. Barrett of the New York Knicks is going to be in the long run? Leave a comment below.
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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.