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New York Knicks: RJ Barrett, Diamond in the rough

by Sebastian Diaz
New York Knicks, RJ Barrett
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One thing New York Knicks fans have been able to cheer for this season thus far has been the fine play of RJ Barrett. Currently, Barrett amongst rookies is 4th s in PPG with 15.1, 2nd in APG with 3.6 and 2nd in RPG with 5.6. These are not all-star numbers that many Knicks fans may have wished for but they are certainly excellent statistics and something for New York to look forward to. With many strikeouts free agency and failure to develop a young star to stay in New York in the past few years, the Knicks may have a superstar caliber player that they have been desperate for on their roster. 

RJ Barrett in his rookie season is by no means close to receiving the label as a “superstar” but he does a lot of promise in his game. With his strong mamba like mentality to take the basket to the rim with no fear and fear of missing the final shot; Barrett has the mindset of becoming a true New York superstar.

Unfortunately early into his career already the Knicks have put a heavy workload on him and is on a very poor performing team this year. Knicks fans have loved to rally behind their players who bring that energy to a game and show heart and passion to the game of basketball. For instance Frank Ntilikina, Frank is nowhere close to being a star in the league but he steps onto the court every game playing as if it his last game and Knicks fans admire that. Therefore he has become a crowd favorite for his strong effort on the court.

RJ Barrett has that heart and passion already that New Yorkers love, which for a rookie is rare in most cases in the NBA now. For many first-year players entering the league, it can be overwhelming for them and they lose track of what got them there. Barrett has not shown that yet on seems to a very tough-minded individual. RJ Barrett has the mental skills that no coach can teach. Barrett has had struggles though inconsistency; like dropping 8 points against the Mavericks one game and then 22 points the very next game against the Hornets. This is one of the many areas in his game that hopefully he and the Knicks coaching staff can fix.



The New York Knicks can’t overlook this young stud this time around again as they did with Kristaps Porzingis. Knicks failed to satisfy Porzingis in his tenure on the Knicks because of the lack of success, failure to hire the right coaches around him, firing his favorite coaches, and rocky relationship with the team’s front office. The Knicks must surround RJ Barrett with the proper coaching staff that can develop him to his fullest potential but is the coaching staff that is there now the right fit.

RJ Barrett is by no means close to being an all-star or not even being a top rookie this season, but there is a lot of promise in him that many people around the league can’t overlook. With the killer mentality for a young player, he has the makings to become a true legend in MSG but there is a lot of grey areas in his game, like his free throw percentage or ability to finish with his right hand, that needs to be fixed before that can happen. It is hard for New York Knicks fans to buy into this because we have all heard this same story before in New York, but patience seems like the only route the Knicks can take this season so far.  Barrett does have unteachable traits but lacks consistency and has poor shot selections, he is a diamond in the rough. He won’t bring an immediate impact to the New York Knicks franchise but is something Knicks fans can look forward to in their future.

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