RJ Barrett is one of the most promising young wing players in the league, and while he isn't as explosive a scorer as some of his peers, he provides a great two-way presence on the New York Knicks. He was certainly a big part of the Knicks' breaking their playoff drought during the 2020-21 season.
Even if a lot of fans are very high on him, that wasn't always the case. At the start of the season, RJ Barrett struggled, and of course, many were quick to overreact. But RJ Barrett's final stats were far from terrible, and he ended the season averaging 17.6 PPG while shooting 40% from beyond the arc. In a recent interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, RJ Barrett revealed that Tom Thibodeau helped him out during his slump.
I changed my shot, so I needed a little time to get used to it. Really just coming back at night and getting reps. Coach is always in here until 9 or 10 PM every day. So just coming in and shooting. Seeing coach, talking to coach at night. He's always had my back, kept my confidence up.
The New York Knicks will hope that they can make the playoffs once again this season, despite there being some very good teams in the Eastern Conference this year. RJ Barrett's improvement could be key for them.
Of course, there will always be people who doubt the New York Knicks and their players. But there are definitely some exciting things going on with the Knicks, and their newfound culture built by Tom Thibodeau is great. Julius Randle even revealed that he was willing to leave money on the table because he believed that it would pay off in the long run. Hopefully, they are able to find the same magic that they did this season, and perhaps their new additions of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier will help their performance in the postseason.