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#pounditSaturday, June 25, 2022

Articles tagged: RJ Barrett

Knicks fans will love what RJ Barrett had to say after latest win

RJ Barrett on the court

RJ Barrett has been blowing up for the New York Knicks lately, and fans will love his most recent comment.

The New York Knicks beat the Los Angeles Clippers 110-102 on Sunday. Barrett led his team with 28 points and 14 rebounds.

Barrett has stepped up this month and entered Sunday averaging 22.4 points per game in January on 45.3 percent shooting. Those numbers blow away his career averages of 16.3 points on 42.3 percent shooting.

Despite his recent success, Barrett is not celebrating or getting ahead of himself. The third-year guard says he is still “hungry” and not getting carried away with anything he has accomplished.

That sounds like a player who is focused and has the right attitude. That type of mentality is what can result in a player continuing to get better. Knicks fans have to love that.

The Knicks are a game under .500 but right there with a group of teams competing for the No. 8 spot in the East.

Photo: Jan 10, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) celebrates after making a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks players making habit of clowning 1 particular local reporter

RJ Barrett on the court

The New York Knicks players do not seem to be very fond of one local reporter in particular.

After a loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday, Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson clowned Marc Berman of the New York Post. After Berman asked a seemingly incendiary question, Robinson replied, “Berman, relax. Relax.”

Knicks guard RJ Barrett then used Robinson’s same line to begin his press conference on Saturday. Before taking questions, Barrett looked right at Berman and said, “Berman, relax. Relax.”

While the moments might have appeared light-hearted on the surface, the players have made clear on other occasions that they do not like Berman’s questions. Earlier in the week, Barrett called out Berman at another press conference, telling him, “You like to put people in tough spots, don’t you?”

A compilation video posted by the account @NBA_NewYork also showed that Berman has a history of stirring the pot when it comes to the Knicks. Here is the video (but beware of some bad language).

Indeed, Berman has reported this season on the alleged issues in the Knicks locker room, among other subjects. After their memorable playoff berth last year, the Knicks are back under .500 this season, opening themselves up to more room for scrutiny.

The Knicks organization already got fined this week over a media issue. Now their players appear to be taking a different approach with the press and with Berman in particular.

Photo: Jan 10, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) celebrates after making a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Surprising name on list of top NBA jerseys sold

RJ Barrett on the court

NBA jerseys are selling like hotcakes, as they typically do. And atop the list are the usual suspects: LeBron James, Steph Curry and a smattering of others. But this month, they’ve been joined by an unexpected name: New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett.

The league released their jersey sales data on Friday, including the top 15 sellers. And there at No. 14 overall was Barrett, one spot ahead of Lamelo Ball and one spot behind Devin Booker.

Although Barrett was a surprise in the top 15, it was not nearly as shocking to see that Knicks merchandise sells exceptionally well.

For Barrett, who has come on strong in recent weeks, this marks his debut on the NBA’s top 15 jersey sales list.

In 39 games this season, Barrett is averaging 16.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He’s No. 2 on the team in scoring and defensive rebounds behind Julius Randle (18.8 PPG, 8.2 DRB). The Knicks are 22-24.

Image: Jan 10, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) celebrates after making a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Video: RJ Barrett beats Celtics with buzzer-beater

RJ Barrett shoots

The New York Knicks completed a comeback against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night, and it was RJ Barrett who delivered the final knockout punch.

The Knicks were taking out the ball in a 105-105 game with 1.5 seconds left. They inbounded to Barrett, who was well-defended. Despite the tough coverage, Barrett got a shot off and made it to win the game.

That counted as a 3-pointer and gave the Knicks a 108-105 win.

Not only was the degree of difficulty for the shot very high, but Barrett was only 3/14 in the game prior to making that shot, so he had been struggling.

If Barrett was the hero, then Evan Fournier was the big star for the Knicks. Fournier shot 15/25 for 41 points and went 10/14 on threes to help the comeback.

The Knicks trailed by 25 in the second quarter and by 20 in the third quarter. Fournier helped keep them in the game, and then Barrett delivered the winning shot.

Knicks open to RJ Barrett trade?

RJ Barrett

The New York Knicks just made the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade. But they could be aggressive this summer in trying to find a piece to really put them over the top.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports this week that Knicks swingman RJ Barrett is not seen as untouchable in a trade for a superstar. The Knicks are said to be eyeing Portland star Damian Lillard as one potential target.

Barrett only recently turned 21 and had a very strong sophomore season. He averaged 17.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game on 40.1 percent from three. Barrett was also remarkably durable, starting in all 72 games for the Knicks.

That said, the Knicks may be looking for a true No. 1 scoring option in the backcourt. Be it Lillard or this other star guard, it sounds like they are willing to fork over some quality young talent to get it.

Photo: Flickr/All-Pro Reels via cc-by-sa 2.0

RJ Barrett responds to shade from Anthony Edwards

RJ Barrett

One young NBA phenom is taking some time to hit back at another.

RJ Barrett and the New York Knicks faced off against Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves last week. The Knicks lost by one point when Barrett missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer. After the game, Edwards spoke candidly about how happy he was to see Barrett, instead of Knicks teammate Julius Randle, taking the final shot.

“Try not to let Randle catch the ball, we’re gonna make somebody else beat us,” said Edwards. “Gladly, RJ Barrett caught it. If he would’ve made the shot, we would’ve lived with it. That’s who we want taking the shot. We don’t want anybody else taking it.”

Barrett responded to Edwards’ shade by tweeting a laughing face emoji.

The 20-year-old Knicks star spoke further on Edwards’ comments Monday.

“I thought it was funny,” said Barrett, per the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy. “I don’t usually tweet. I don’t know what it was about this one. I felt like this one was an OK scenario to laugh at.

“Oh I’m very confident,” he added about his next opportunity. “I’m very confident, I can’t wait for the next one.”

Randle, an All-Star this year, is the Knicks’ leading scorer, so getting the ball out of his hands was a definite win for the Wolves. Barrett is also a fairly shaky shooter with a 42.3 field goal percentage for his career. But it is still rare for a player to so openly diss another player’s shooting ability like that.

The No. 1 overall pick Edwards has already won plenty of fans in his rookie season with how real he keeps it. But the flip side of that is that it can easily lead to beef like the one that may be brewing here between him and Barrett.

Photo: Flickr/All-Pro Reels via cc-by-sa 2.0

David Fizdale has head-scratching reason for sitting RJ Barrett on final play

David Fizdale

The New York Knicks lost a nail-biter to the Charlotte Hornets this weekend, and coach David Fizdale once again came under fire for a tactical decision.

On the final possession of a one-point game, Fizdale chose to sit star rookie RJ Barrett and insert sharpshooter Wayne Ellington, who had not played for the entire game. The Knicks wound up letting Julius Randle take a long contested fadeaway, which he missed.

On Monday, Fizdale gave a strange reason to reporters for why he sat Barrett.

“[Ellington was in] just as a distraction, to try to open up floor for Julius to have a driving lane,” he said, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. “Trust me, more nights than not RJ Barrett will be in the game at crunch time.”

It does seem rather strange to sit one of your best offensive players in a one-point situation for the purposes of trying to better distract an opponent. It is especially so considering that Barrett had already scored 22 points in the game and is arguably a better, more efficient driver than Randle.

Granted, Fizdale definitely seems to be on the hot seat right now, and he is not doing much to help his cause with baffling decisions like this.

David Fizdale defends RJ Barrett’s heavy minutes, calls load management ‘crap’

David Fizdale

Tom Thibodeau may no longer be in the NBA, but his spirit lives on in New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale.

After the Knicks suffered a 113-92 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, Fizdale defended the heavy minutes he was giving to rookie star RJ Barrett.

“He’s got the day off tomorrow,” said Fizdale, per Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. “We gotta get off this load management crap. Latrell Sprewell averaged 42 minutes for a season. This kid’s 19 years old. Drop it.”

Barrett, who is averaging 17.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game so far this season, played a whopping 41 minutes on Sunday, despite the game being a blowout from the first half onward. That brought his total on the year to 37.1 minutes per game, and he now leads the league in total minutes played.

While Barrett should indeed be getting significant playing time so that he can develop, there is a balance to be struck between that and not trotting him out unnecessarily in noncompetitive situations. All told, this is not the first time that Fizdale’s game management has come into question.

RJ Barrett could see time at point guard for Knicks this season

RJ Barrett

The New York Knicks might not be too watchable this season, but one interesting storyline could be how the team deploys rookie star RJ Barrett.

Knicks head coach David Fizdale spoke on Tuesday about the possibility of playing the No. 3 overall pick at the point guard position for the team.

“I’ve thrown him at that position a couple times already,” said Fizdale, per Ian Begley of SNY. “He played some of that in college. I think it adds another layer to how dynamic he can be. Especially having someone that big that can switch things do some different things defensively. So yeah, I’ll sprinkle that in.

“He’s really poised. He looks comfortable,” Fizdale continued about Barrett. “The kid likes having the ball in his hands. He’s unselfish. He finds people. He understands – he knows our plays from that position. I feel very comfortable if I have to throw him there.”

The 6-foot-7 Barrett, a natural wing, averaged 22.6 points and 4.3 dimes per game at Duke last season, posting the highest usage rate on the team as well as one of the highest assist percentages.

The Knicks have a crowded point guard rotation with Dennis Smith Jr, Frank Ntilikina, and new arrival Elfrid Payton all competing for minutes. It is hard to discount Barrett’s case for time at the 1 however, especially considering that this Hall of Fame point guard once called him a “next-level playmaker.”

Zion Williamson on RJ Barrett: Knicks are ‘getting a killer’

RJ Barrett

Zion Williamson continues to speak highly of college teammate RJ Barrett.

Williamson was at the Panini NBA Rookie Photo Shoot on Sunday and was asked by SNY’s Ian Begley about Barrett. Williamson described his fellow lottery pick as a “killer.”

“(Knicks fans) can expect that they’re getting a killer,” Williamson told SNY. “For the people that are trying to look down on him, RJ’s been through worse. He knows how to battle through it and he’s going to bring the city everything he’s got.”

Williamson and Barrett were close friends during their time together at Duke. The two entered college as highly-regarded recruits. They left with Williamson viewed as the best player in college basketball and runaway favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the draft, which he became. Barrett had a fine season but didn’t quite live up to his billing as a freshman. He still was picked No. 3 overall by the Knicks, who are hoping he will become the game-changer they have lacked.

New York had a quiet offseason. They failed to land Kevin Durant as they were hoping (or not hoping?) and ended up making several under-the-radar signings such as Julius Randle, Bobby Portis and Marcus Morris.