New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett has no problem allowing defenders more space on his shot attempts. When he’s wide open, the fourth-year player is one of the best mid-range shooters on the team.
However, the 22-year-old has been underperforming this season. Barrett’s true shooting percentage is 49.5%, the guard’s lowest since his rookie season. However, he is shooting a career-high 35.2 percent on 3-point attempts. That equates to 5.7 triples per game.
Based on a few NBA betting sites, the Knicks have the ninth-lowest odds to win the championship in 2023. But some sportsbooks are expecting another playoff run this season.
RJ Barrett dares opposing teams to leave him open.
“It’s an easy bucket in my opinion.”
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) November 18, 2022
“It’s an easy bucket in my opinion,” Barrett told the protesters. “So I’d rather they do that.” In the past three games, the guard has shot 0-for-16 from 3-point range.
On Sunday, he missed both 3-point attempts against the Thunder, went 0-for-5 against the Jazz on Tuesday and went 0-for-9 against the Nuggets on Wednesday.
Knicks guard RJ Barrett encourages defenders to leave him wide.
In 15 starts this season, Barrett is averaging 18.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He is also shooting 40.2% from the floor and 25.6% from beyond the arc.
Last Wednesday, in New York’s 121-112 win over the Detroit Pistons, the Toronto-born star scored a season-high 30 points in 38 minutes. He finished 10-of-17 (58.8%) shooting from the floor, and Barrett also shot 3-of-8 (37.5%) from beyond the arc.
“The shot is wide open, I’m going to shoot it,” Barrett continued. “I have no such conscience. I’m comfortable and I’ll work hard on my game.”
RJ Barrett in the last five games
Too strong for a slow start. pic.twitter.com/4YAghd1q5a
— ObiMuse (@ObiMuse) November 12, 2022
In September, the Knicks guard re-signed with the team for a four-year contract worth 120 million dollars. Of course, Barrett is the first player since Charlie Ward in 1999 to agree to a multi-year extension after his rookie contract.
Unfortunately, Duke’s production didn’t live up to his big contract. Last season, in 70 starts, Barrett averaged 20 points, 5.8 boards and 3.0 steals per game. He shot 40.8% from the field and 34.2% from long range.
Barrett ranks ninth in the NBA in field goal attempts (244), ninth in field goals (146) and 19th in minutes played (510). Against the Knicks, he leads only guards Julius Randle (21.3) and Jalen Brunson (20) per game.