The New York Knicks are still working to re-discover the spark they had last season when they shocked the world and made the playoffs for the first time in years.
No doubt, much of their success depends on RJ Barrett -- the 2019 lottery pick who many believe can become a star.
Unfortunately, Barrett is in the middle of a nasty shooting slump and it's starting to have a negative impact on the team's offense.
The solution, according to head coach Tom Thibodeau, is just to keep on shooting.
“To me, you get rhythm when you work,” said the Knicks coach. “Last year he got going when he starting coming in every night to shoot. There’s no notion that ‘okay, I’ll do it sometimes. No, you’ve got to do it all the time. When you did it, you ended up shooting 40% from three. So get back in the gym. Get back to grooving your shot. Shoot a lot of threes and you’ll start making more.”
Thibs has not been shy about making adjustments this season, so if he thinks RJ should shoot more, that's exactly what he should do.
Apparently, that wasn't the case for Kemba Walker, whose struggles got him benched by Thibs and the coaching staff.
“It’s a tough decision to make. But you always have to do what you think is best for the team,” Thibodeau said, via The New York Post. “I’ve got great respect for who Kemba is as a person, number one, and all that he’s accomplished in this league… But I do what I think is best for the team.”
The Knicks are facing extraordinary pressure to match their energy from last season. Despite having a nearly identical roster, that has proven to be challenging so far.
The good news is, it's still early in the season and there's plenty of time to get right before it's all said and done. We'll just have to wait and see what RJ and his squad can do over these next few weeks and months.