The Knicks’ success next season hangs on the development of one player

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks
Jan 20, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) isa defended by Atlanta Hawks guards Aaron Holiday (3) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (13) during the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have recently witnessed their finest season since the times of Mike Woodson. Yet, as the dust settles, there are raised eyebrows and lingering questions surrounding RJ Barrett, especially after a tumultuous 2022-23 season.

Gearing Up for FIBA World Cup

With the FIBA World Cup soon approaching, Barrett is poised to seize this opportunity to both enhance and fine-tune his skills. Representing Team Canada on this esteemed international platform offers him a prime window to demonstrate his caliber. And if recent exhibitions are any indicators, there’s a strong case for a Barrett resurgence.

In the recent face-off against Germany, Barrett showcased his undeniable prowess. He netted a whopping 31 points, missing only one of his 14 attempts and securing a perfect 4-4 from beyond the arc. Additionally, he bolstered the team’s effort with five assists, leading Canada to a nail-biting 113-112 victory in overtime.

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Fine-Tuning the Three-Point Game

What stood out in Barrett’s performance against Germany was his proficiency in perimeter shooting. Historically, while Barrett has consistently displayed a knack for finishing close to the basket, his three-point attempts have seen mixed results. The previous season witnessed him at a slightly disappointing 31% from the three-point region.

Such statistics are particularly crucial for the Knicks. Their previous playoff season highlighted an evident deficiency in sharpshooting capabilities. An in-form Barrett, consistent with his three-pointers, not only solidifies his position as an all-rounded scorer but could potentially elevate the Knicks, offering them the third All-Star quality player they’ve been yearning for.

Knicks’ Vision for Barrett

When Barrett was roped in by the Knicks in 2019, the expectations were soaring. Many envisioned him swiftly evolving into an All-Star talent, aiming to usher the Knicks back into the limelight. Yet, integrating him effectively alongside stars like Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle has been a challenging puzzle.

But, it’s crucial to note Barrett’s potential advantages. At just 23 and possessing a commendable dedication to the game, he’s ripe for evolving into the star player many anticipated. With his forthcoming international exposure, enthusiasts are keenly watching how this stint amplifies his performance for the Knicks in the upcoming season.

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