Knicks’ RJ Barrett sets huge goal for 2021-22 season, dives into why he’s started off slow

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The New York Knicks‘ loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday evening is just a blip on the radar as their aspirations reach far beyond the regular season. However, consistency is a necessity for successful teams, and the Knicks are still trying to find a healthy balance between their starters and depth pieces.

One player who has started off the season a bit slow is shooting guard RJ Barrett. Averaging 12.7 points, 3.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and shooting 39% from the field, RJ hasn’t enjoyed the same success from three-point range as he did during the 2020–21 season. Barrett currently hosts a 21% success rate from beyond the arc, a 19% difference compared to his sophomore campaign. The sample size is small and will undoubtedly increase as the regular season continues.

“I don’t know why, third year in a row I started like this. But I’m a guy that I never give up, I never quit. God’s blessed me with that ability.”

There is a little doubt that Barrett will bounce back in the coming days, as the season is young. He has shown a bit more vision with his passing and clearly has ample athleticism to display on the court.

“Honestly, the biggest part I’ve been trying to work on is my defense. I want to be first-team all defense, I want to be (a top defender), I want to be that guy for this team. So just looking at (my defense).”

If you want to get on the floor under head coach Tom Thibodeau, working on your defense is a good way to do it. Barrett continues to work on his defensive attributes, targeting First-Team All-Defense as his primary aspiration. A lofty goal but one he’s more than capable of achieving.

Nonetheless, Barrett will look to rebound against the Philadelphia 76ers in the Knicks’ most challenging game of the season on Tuesday evening.

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