If not for the magical development of New York Knicks‘ 20-year-old shooting guard RJ Barrett, they might not be as successful as theyâ€™ve been this season. Currently sitting in the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, Barrett has been the Robin to Julius Randleâ€™s Batman.
Randle is having an MVP caliber season, and heâ€™s dragging Barrett along with him as one of the best young players in the NBA. So far this season, RJ is averaging 17.6 points per game, a 3.3 point increase from his rookie season in 2019â€“20.
Barrett is also averaging 3.0 assists and 5.7 total rebounds per game. His .449 shooting percentage from the field is almost a .05% increase, and his three-point percentage has seen a .07% increase, skyrocketing from .320 a .390. Altogether, his statistics have taken a significant step forward in the right direction, and the Knicks couldnâ€™t be happier about his development as he trends toward becoming a star.
However, if not for a few veteran mentors, Barrettâ€™s development might be a bit slower. Point guard Derrick Rose has played a significant part in helping him mentally.
â€œAt halftime, whenever I get a chance, I try to get him, get out of his own head, get out of his own way and let him know, â€˜Donâ€™t get frustrated,â€™â€Šâ€™â€™ Rose said. â€œHe does miss shots â€¦ [but] heâ€™s a perfectionist, so whenever I see him down, I try to talk to him as much as possible. And the second half, he came out totally aggressive.â€™â€™
Responding to Rose’s comments, Barrett confirmed the assumption that he’s a “perfectionist.”
â€œYeah, yeah I am that,â€™â€™ Barrett said sheepishly, scratching his face. â€œI will say that. I hate when everythingâ€™s not perfect. I hate missing. If I do everything right and I miss the shot or I do everything right then I turn over the ball, I hate when things arenâ€™t perfect.â€
What are the New York Knicks getting in Luca Vildoza?
Vildoza signed with the Knicks, who is working on a buyout with Bastonia, his current Spanish club. The 25-year-old can play both guard positions and is shooting 38% this year, scoring over 10 points per game.
While Luca isnâ€™t eligible to play just yet, he will be available for the postseason, representing a finisher from the point guard position and someone who can create with either hand. He can hit shots from all levels of the court and has a bit of flair to his game. He should add a well-rounded presence at the PG position, something the Knicks have been lacking behind Derrick Rose.
They donâ€™t like to use Immanuel Quickley in that role, pairing him as a shooting guard with Rose or Elfrid Peyton. Having quality depth down the stretch is extremely important, especially as fatigue starts to set in with aggressive play during playoff games.