It seems like the New York Knicks are quite bleak, doesn’t it? Kind of like they are a franchise that with every year since the 2012-2013 season, has lost more and more hope. It’s been a while since this team had that spark and hope that could galvanize the city. Good thing the Knicks have two players who are going to make the 2020-2021 fun for the Knicks and give New York hope for this storied franchise.
Give Them Shooters and See Them Grow
I’ve been talking and writing and preaching about the Knicks needing shooters for RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson for months. I’m not just saying it for the practicality of the Knicks’ lineup, BUT because of how it would help these two. If they have shooters, RJ can kick it out to a shooter OR that shooter is double-teamed so RJ can dish it to Mitchell Robinson who will most likely beat his man in the paint.
When you give these two options to mask their weaknesses from beyond the arc, you make them even MORE deadly.
Building Off the Other
Out of all the Knicks’ duos (Minimum 600 Minutes Played), the Robinson Barrett combo has the best PACE, which is a stat that determines possessions used, which shows that these two create fast-paced high tempo basketball. They also have the best 2nd True Shooting Percentage, and 4th best Offensive Rating, despite the fact that they are rarely surrounded by ANY shooting.
This duo gets it done pretty well, but what do they both need to work on?
Room for Improvement
Mitchell Robinson needs to be able to hit an open three and be a slightly more consistent defender while playing a starting role. He already is a polished rim protector with a high amount of blocks and a solid scorer in the paint.
For RJ, he needs to work on his shooting, as if he can be average as a 3 point shooter, he could be VERY special offensively. He also needs to work on his defense, but more so than Robinson, as Robinson is already a good defender but Barrett hasn’t become that yet. If he can defend well in the perimeter and mid-range and be a more efficient scorer, he will be a great leader for this squad.
I project Robinson to play 32 minutes a game and averaged 15 PPG with 10 RPG and 2.8 BLKs while having a .580 FG%. I see RJ Barrett having 18 PPG with 5 RPG and 5.5 AST in 36 Minutes with a 47% FG% and a 35% 3P% but on 4 attempts a game.
This duo is due to flourishing next season, and with the right help, maybe we see some Knicks basketball in Spring 2021.