New York Knicks shooting guard RJ Barrett has shot the ball at a phenomenal level since what was arguably the most painful loss of the season against the Minnesota Timberwolves March 31st. After the Knicks dropped the winnable road game in Minnesota, the 2020 NBA Draft’s first overall pick, Anthony Edwards expressed his desire to see the former Duke star take the pressure shot for the Knicks down the stretch of a close game. The Rookie of the Year candidate proclaimed RJ Barrett’s shooting ability was subpar, therefore, forcing Barrett to take the last shot was a decision he felt very at ease with. It has been 16 games since the one point Knicks loss to the Timberwolves by the score of 102-101. Since the night Anthony Edwards disrespected RJ Barrett’s jump-shot during a postgame interview, Barrett has been shooting a scorching .494 percent from three point territory. The formerly known “Maple Mamba” has also shot the ball from the field at a rate of .465 percent the past 16 games. From the free throw line during the span, Barrett shot .784 percent while averaging 18.4-points per game since March 31st. Barrett seems to welcome opposing doubt against his abilities on the basketball court.
RJ Barrett said he saw Anthony Edwards comment that TWolves wanted him to take the last shot: “I just laughed.”— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) April 5, 2021
He added that he can’t wait for the next game-winning opportunity.
What Happened on RJ Barrett’s Next Two Clutch Opportunities?
RJ IN THE CLUTCH pic.twitter.com/TPNa0YrBXf— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) April 10, 2021
💥 BANG 💥 pic.twitter.com/KknnBIh4Ot— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) April 12, 2021
RJ Barrett in the final 5 mins of the 4th quarter / OT over the Knicks last two games:— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) April 12, 2021
7-of-8 from the floor,
3-of-3 frown downtown and
3-of-3 on FT’s.
RJ “The Mariano of MSG” Barrett.
(cc: Anthony Edwards)
Barrett helped kick off the Knicks 9-game winning streak by nailing a clutch three pointer with over a minute left in overtime to break the (124-124) tie against the Memphis Grizzlies on April 9th, a day many in New York City were mourning the death of beloved icon DMX. Barrett came up clutch again during the second game of the win streak on April 11th against a tough and scrappy Toronto Raptors squad by once again nailing a late game three pointer, this time with 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Knicks down by one point (94-95). Both of those clutch shots by Barrett came off assists from Julius Randle. Therefore, RJ Barrett has supreme confidence in his shooting ability and so does his teammates and coach.
There are some fans who still aren’t buying into RJ Barrett’s improved shooting ability in the clutch. Only time will expand Barrett’s sample size of successful shooting late in games. More importantly, the Knicks are beneficiaries in the win column due to Barrett’s willingness to prove doubters wrong. The former Duke star is wired to win basketball games and he’s in the right system under Tom Thibodeau, he also has tailor made teammates who are mentally tough like Randle for instances.
Knick Fans Were Bothered by RJ Barrett’s All-Rookie Snub.
The great news about RJ Barrett laughably being snubbed on All-Rookie is that it will fuel him.— Tommy Dee (@ThomasCDee) July 28, 2020
These disingenuous tactics will hopefully go away very soon.
Fans disliked the third overall pick being blatantly disrespected. RJ Barret’s All Rookie snub clearly bothered him too. However, the disingenuous tactic fueled him tremendously as time went on. The chiseled 6’6” 205lbs shooting guard is holding no prisoners this season offensively and defensively on a nightly basis. Currently averaging 17.6-points per game while also grabbing 5.7-rebounds to go along with 3.0-assists per contest, the 20-year old’s upward trajectory suggests he’ll become a perennial NBA All-Star sooner than later. Barrett’s been constantly taking advantage of mismatches against the opposing team every night. Julius Randle has been looking for Barrett on the offensive end more often than not this season as well. Tom Thibodeau has mentioned Barrett’s work ethic on a few occasions, describing Barrett as a team first guy with a relentless work ethic to become great.
.@AshNicoleMoss and @john_jastremski join @CWilliamson44 to discuss RJ Barrett's strong play as of late and whether or not this is the RJ Barrett we'll see going forward:— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) April 25, 2021
➡️ @GEICO pic.twitter.com/IQbwJrJJpf
Overall, RJ Barrett and the New York Knicks are playing excellent basketball. The Canadian’s three point shooting has improved drastically and opponents can no longer afford to disrespect his ability to make shots late in close games. Derrick Rose mentioned Barrett being somewhat of a perfectionist, often getting in his own head when things don’t go accordingly. However, Rose helps Barrett forget his mistakes while continuing to push forward in helping the team claim more victories.
Derrick Rose says he wasn’t worried about RJ Barrett after a rough first half… “48 minutes of basketball”.— Jonathan Macri (@JCMacriNBA) April 21, 2021
Did call RJ a perfectionist, and mentioned he has to talk to him during the game sometimes to get him out of his own head. Rose’s vet leadership can’t be understated.