RJ Barrett was averaging 37.5-minutes per game during the preseason. The first two months of the 2019-20 NBA Season, RJ Barrett averaged 34-minutes per night all under prior coach David Fizdale. There are some questions about whether or not former head coach David Fizdale burned out the Maple Mamba forcing the rookie to hit the Rookie wall hard later this season. For the Month of December, RJ Barrett averaged 11.7-points and shot only 35.1% from the field. Barrett also shot a porous 30.2% from three-point range in December.
There are other possibilities that might be contributing to RJ Barrett’s recent struggles from the field. Teams around the league seem to have gotten use to RJ Barrett’s tendencies on the offensive end. With more game film being out against the rookie, opposing coaches are doing better strategizing game plans against Barrett. The improved scouting against RJ Barrett has slowed him down offensively and makes the game even more difficult for him which results in RJ turning in silent performances like the one against the Phoenix Suns on January 3rd, 2020.
Iâ€™ll say this for RJ Barrett: you can tell it pisses him off something fierce that heâ€™s struggling so much right now.
I know that type of thing doesnâ€™t always manifest itself in productive ways, but in this case, Iâ€™m highly encouraged.
— Jonathan Macri (@JCMacriNBA) January 4, 2020
Overall, one important factor to pay attention to is the fact that RJ Barrett is unhappy with his struggles and his confidence never seems to waver. He will become better in the off-season. His improvement is inevitable because of his ferocious work ethic. Therefore, there is no place for RJ Barrett to go from here other than upward. People forget Barrett is only 19-years-old with plenty of upsides. Honestly, New York Knicks fans should grab their popcorns and enjoy Barrett’s growth.