Knicks’ RJ Barrett eyeing big season ahead

New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) dribbles as Boston Celtics guard Dalano Banton (45) defends during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden

New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett will look to bounce back this season from an inconsistent 2022-23 season, and the 23-year-old is feeling confident about having a solid season.

Barrett credited playing with Team Canada over the summer in the FIBA World Cup as to why he has this newfound confidence. Barrett led the international team to a bronze medal in the tournament, to which he averaged 16.8 points and five rebounds per game.

“Having played this summer was big for me,” Barrett said via The New York Post. “I’m just in a better rhythm, as well as routine things. Also just getting older, learning the league more, learning myself, learning my body.”

Last season, Barrett averaged 19.6 points per game but struggled with his efficiency, as he shot a career-low 31% from beyond the arc.

The Knicks Need a Better Version of RJ Barret

In three preseason games, Barrett’s efficiency from the field continued to take a hit, as he shot just 38% from the floor and 28% from three. However, one major improvement came at the free throw line, as he shot 85.7% from the charity stripe during the preseason and got to the line fairly often as he played with a hard-nosed aggression.

The stats are not pretty, but there were still encouraging signs of improvement from Barrett.

It is difficult to draw a definitive conclusion after a small sample of preseason games, but being better at the free throw is a monumental step toward becoming a better all-around scorer. The Knicks will hope that this time around, Barrett can turn in a season filled with consistently solid play as the team aims to return to the postseason.

Barrett will have his first chance to prove he can be consistent when the Knicks face the Celtics on Opening Night this upcoming Wednesday.

Follow this writer on X: @DylanBacker_

Mentioned in this article:

More about: