Knicks’ RJ Barrett projects ultimate confidence in team ahead of regular season

The growth of RJ Barrett is extremely important to the New York Knicks’ plans during the 2021–22 season. Barrett took an astronomical leap in his sophomore campaign at just 20-years-old, averaging 17.6 points, 3.0 assists, and 5.8 rebounds. He posted a 44% field goal percentage and connected on 40% of his three-point shots. Most of his scoring statistics saw a fantastic uptick, and the Knicks are hoping he can continue to improve upon those numbers.

To start the pre-season, Barrett posted a healthy 17 points on 50% shooting from the field and 50% shooting from three-point range. Against the Washington Wizards this past Saturday, he tallied 18 points, connecting on 4-of-8 shots from beyond on the arc. He also contributed four assists, utilizing his vision as a facilitator to get his teammates the ball.

While some underrate a strong Knicks team with plenty of depth, RJ expressed confidence on Tuesday that everybody should see this team coming.

“Doesn’t matter, we’re all about the Knicks. The Knicks will never be a under the radar team.”
Despite Vegas having the Knicks below their 41 win mark from last year in 10 additional games, this team added more talent that will hopefully spread the floor and provide more efficient opportunities for their primary scorers.
Barrett expressed supreme faith that the additions of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier will provide him with even more clean looks at the basket, and that is in addition to Julius Randle, who commanded a ton of attention last season during his first All-Star performance.
“When you have Kemba driving the ball, people are going to pay attention. When you have Julius or Evan driving, people are going to pay attention. Oftentimes, they’re going to leave me out there.”
The Knicks are better off being the underdogs this season, emerging as a successful team built on disciplinary rules and passion. Considering how much effort the players put in this off-season to refining their craft and building chemistry, I would be surprised to see them struggle to open the year. The team seemed in midseason form against the Pacers and Wizards, but it is only preseason basketball, so not much can be derived.
If all goes to plan, the impact that Walker and Fournier will bring should give Barrett a chance to beat his sophomore statistics, which would firmly cement him as a long-term solution for the Knicks at shooting guard.
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