RJ Barrett is currently the franchise player for the New York Knicks.
The 3rd overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft had a good year as a neophyte but was inexplicably snubbed from an All-Rookie team.
Thus far this season, Barrett has been either on fire or ridiculously cold in his games. It’s been a roller coaster ride that started with an impressive outing bullying Victor Oladipo in a Knicks loss. He dropped 26 points on 11-for-15 shooting from the field that night. The next game, he had only 10 points on 2-for-15 shooting from the field. It’s been that kind of pattern thus far this season with Barrett.
Barrett has eclipsed the 20-point plateau three times this season: opening night, once more against the Pacers, and the following night against the Hawks. The Knicks are 2-1 in those games. They are 3-5 when Barrett scores less than 20.
Barrett is averaging 13 points on 31% shooting from the field in this three-game losing streak in which every Knickerbocker is struggling heavily. He has hit just one of his 13 three-pointers attempted during the losing streak.
It has been a little of a disappointing season for Barrett, especially considering the high-caliber performance he displayed on Opening Night, which he began the season, converting his first nine shots of the season.
But, Barrett isn’t the only one to struggle mightily. The Knicks have shot 39.3% and scored 88.6 points per game in this three-game downward trend. The Knicks now average 100.1 points per game, which places them 29th, ahead of only the Cleveland Cavaliers, who average an even 100 points per game.
The Knicks are also now averaging 44% from the field, 25th in the NBA, and 35% from behind the arc, 23rd in the NBA.
Plus, remember that Barrett is 20 years old and won’t be able to buy an adult beverage until June. He is still a baby.
The shot looks better. The jumper looks smoother. He needs to find that release point, and that’s something he will continue to work on and will start to find. The potential is there.
He has the potential to shoot; he’s already a pretty good rebounding guard (he’s averaging 7.6 RPG through 11 games) and can get to the rim with his quickness, height, and length.
Additionally, may I remind everyone that Kevin Knox is just now finally starting to find that shooting touch at age 21?
Knox, a career 37% shooter from the field and 34% shooter from three-point, is shooting 41% from the field and 40% from behind the arc in 2020-21.
So, everyone needs to relax about Rowan. He’ll be fine. There is an improvement from rookie to the second year. That improvement is his jumper. The next improvement will be finding the release point.
The shots will start to fall, and when he becomes a 20-25 points-a-night caliber player, we can begin focusing on things such as defense and getting an even better position to grab rebounds. He’s 20 and a half years old.
Continue showing patience because if Knox can breakthrough, the higher-ceiling Barrett can certainly breakthrough in about a year.
Featured Image: David Zalubowski/AP Photo