Living Up to Expectations
RJ Barrett was the third pick in the 2019 NBA draft and was projected to be a franchise player. Barrett has stepped up and showed signs of being that franchise cornerstone, however his play has been inconsistent. In the offseason, the former Blue Devil accepted a contract extension with the New York Knicks for four-years $120 million.
One of Barrett’s only weaknesses are his shooting ability. In his last ten games, half included poor shooting performances. During this rough stretch, Barrett has shot 3-11, 6-19, 4-18, 5-18, and 2-10 from the field. From the three-point line, he is shooting just 27.3% and had three games in a row where he was a combined 0-16 from behind the arc.
Build off Momentum
Barrett had a stellar game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, pouring in 25 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. The shots were finally falling at an efficient rate as he was 10-16 from the field and 3-4 from three.
Who is Next?
The New York Knicks return to action at home on Friday November 25 after three days of rest. They host the Portland Trail Blazers which should be a competitive game considering the Blazers are currently fifth in the Western Conference. A Knicks victory will put them over .500 once again if they prevail against the Trail Blazers.
Give Jalen Brunson Some Help
Jalen Brunson has been making up for Barrett’s lack of production during his cold streak. Brunson has scored at least 20 points in seven of the last ten contests. When the Knicks two guards can shoot the ball well and score at an efficient rate, it is the main driver for their offense.
Big 3 Practically Unbeatable
Knicks announcer and Hall-Of-Famer Walt “Clyde” Frazier made an observation during the Knicks-Thunder game regarding the Knicks three most prominent players. Frazier concluded that the big three of Julius Randle, Brunson, and Barrett are practically unbeatable when they play cohesively. Barrett and Randle each contributed 25 points apiece and Brunson lit up the scoreboard with 34 in the Knicks ten-point victory over the Thunder. When each member of the big three is contributing, it keeps the opposing defense on their toes with the diversity of scoring options the Knicks possess.