Rj Barrett shooting struggles


For his benefit, for the teams benefit, and for our benefit, we need RJ Barrett to attack the rim– because right now he is anything but a shooter.  It’s becoming hard to defend his place, and his role, on this team when he gets off to poor shooting starts and does not contribute to the game in any other way. The leash is only going to get tighter. We know he is a nice player, and at times looks like he was ready to take that step as the Knicks top scoring guy in the pre-season. As of right now, he is the third best on any given night AT BEST. 

Me, thinking rationally, will understand that this type of polishing in the NBA takes time. Let the man take his game to the rim, and the outside shots will follow.  

When players continue to try and shoot themselves out of slumps, they are bailing out the defense. Get to the basket and you’ll be more of a threat. Especially with Randle and Brunson shooting the 3-ball as well as they have. 

At this point in time, it’s not killing the team, but it just shows that this young Knicks core still has room to grow. Last night during the Knicks-Hawks spanking, RJ shot 6-10 inside the 3pt and 0-6 from 3! Stick to what you are good at right now. The other guys will hit their shots. You’ve shown you are a smart enough basketball player to make the right pass as well. Now it’s all about rhythm and confidence. If Obi Toppin is shooting with confidence and making the most out of his minutes, us Knicks fan only want that for RJ.

RJ Barrett is shooting just 34.2% from 3-point range and he averages 5.5 attempts a game. In fact, 33.7% of his field goal attempts this year have been from beyond the arc. Inside the 3 point line he is shooting 48%, up about 4% from last year while also improving the same percentage from the 3 point line. So sometimes when the New York faithful is hard, you just have to zoom out. He may not be the best three-point shooter but he is still confident enough to take them.

For those who need a reminder, Barrett was rated as the top prospect in his class by ESPN, and was widely considered to be a potential first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft before the flash college basketball seasons from Zion Williamson and Ja Morant. 

Barrett as a prospect was known for his excellent size for his position, his ability to score from all three levels on the floor. Considered a polished passer and is a very good rebounder for his size, whose athleticism gives him the potential to be a lockdown defender when he eventually reaches his prime. Maybe it is not this very moment, but this Knicks management is keen on believing in his overall development.

If you ask me, this just shows how much of the game is mental. I watch highlights and compare it to the game against the Hawks and I cannot believe I am watching the same player.

He has showed us the highs of what his potential play could be, but has continued to show the growing pains us Knicks fans expected him shaking off this season. It is as if his growth this season is underwhelming to some. Sometimes a stock does not always go up, it is about PAY-tience, for both RJ and the Knicks organization.

Against the Hawks the other night he was aiming his shot, there was no rhythm. We saw an airball, a couple bricks and overall just not a very good shooting performance. In other aspects of the game he did show he is a nice player on what is turning into a winning basketball team. 

RJ can take some days, get some shots up and consider the All-Star break a restart. The Knicks are going to need him to play confidently down the stretch if they want to continue their quest as just more than a play-in team and actually win themselves their first playoff series in a decade.

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