The Knicks need RJ Barrett to step up against Miami

rj barrett, knicks
May 2, 2023; New York, New York, USA; Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent (2) looks to pass the ball against New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) during the first quarter of game two of the 2023 NBA Eastern Conference semifinal playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

If the Knicks can maintain the level of production they have been receiving from RJ Barrett, there is no telling how far they could advance in this year’s playoffs. He has been playing exceptional basketball since overcoming his initial struggles in the first two games against Cleveland, emerging as the third key component in the Knicks’ powerful trio. Barrett is a fantastic scorer capable of creating his own opportunities and has been a solid contributor on the defensive end for the team as well.

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The Knicks need RJ Barrett’s consistent performance:

RJ had an irregular regular season, leaving fans wanting more from a player who had signed a massive contract extension to remain with the Knicks for the foreseeable future. However, in the playoffs, RJ has been one of the most reliable players on the court. Excluding the first two games in Cleveland, where he accumulated only 21 points on 6-25 shooting, he has been instrumental for the team.

Since Game 3 against Cleveland, he has averaged 23 points, 5 rebounds, and a few assists per game. His worst shooting performance came in Game 4 against Cleveland, where he shot 8-19 from the field. If Barrett can maintain his shooting prowess, this Knicks team could surpass many expectations. While it would be a welcome sight to see them go all the way, Barrett could play a significant role in making that happen.

The RJ Barrett currently on display is the player fans anticipated seeing throughout the entire season. Despite battling numerous inconsistencies, losing playing time, and even contending with Josh Hart for minutes, Barrett has regained his momentum and is making his presence known. He may not have reached superstar status yet, but he is certainly playing like a star with something to prove.

Barrett is a vital asset for this team, and the formidable trio of Brunson, Randle, and himself could propel the Knicks to remarkable heights. If the Knicks manage to go all the way, it will be due not only to the addition of Brunson and Hart, but also to the collective effort of the entire team playing hard and embodying the Knicks’ style of basketball. With their gritty defense, transition play, and focus on quality shot selection, Barrett represents one essential piece of the overall puzzle. Hopefully, the Knicks can keep up their momentum.