RJ Barrett kicks off the new season, nailing his first shots off the ground, including all his three-point attempts, in the Knicks’ opening loss in Indiana.
Tom Thibodeau’s team will return to that area Saturday night, and Barrett will be looking to rediscover that shooting touch after his percentage drops dramatically in the Four Plus games afterward.
Second Year Guard He was hardly the only dysfunctional culprit In Thursday’s 100-83 loss to Toronto in Tampa. The Knicks finished 3-036 miserable from long distance against the Raptors, including the NBA record 23 straight wastes without being committed by the Main Five.
Barrett, third in the Duke 2019 draft, tied for just 26.3 percent (19 versus 72) of the field since his strong debut on December 23 against the Pacers. He also made 21 consecutive attempts from behind the three-point arc.
In fact, Barrett (0 versus 8) and young striker Reggie Bullock (0 versus 9) became the first teammates in NBA history to go 0 to 8 or worse than the three-point group in the same game.
Barrett was not available to the media after Thursday’s match, and the Knicks (2-3) did not train or make anyone available on New Year’s Day prior to Saturday’s visit to Indiana.
Thibaudeau had been blamed earlier in the week that Barrett was “cool” and “playing an all-around game” in successive victories against Milwaukee and Cleveland. Despite his poor shooting numbers, the 20-year-old Barrett averages 15.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists in five matches.
“He played well without a good shot. We know shooting is coming. He does a lot of things for us defensively, moves well without the ball. It is descending.
“There is a lot of room for him to grow. He was hard-working. Just having a wing to do things he could do, his versatility is a great asset to the team and his willingness to give plays to people.”
Thibudo said after Thursday’s loss that he wanted to review the game movie before commenting directly on Barrett’s game and the poor shooting team, especially since the Knicks were top of the league with 3 points (45.9%).
“I think when the teams play in the area, they get a lot of open looks, but we’re going to take a look,” said Thibaudo. “It’s the right game. To me, it’s like you get the right play, if you get the move, if you force the defense to collapse, you knock it out, and if one of the shooters is open, that’s all I’m going.”
“ So if the guy is wide open, and no one is five feet away, you have to shoot him.
Even with his team shooting the blanks, Thibodeau noted that the Knicks were seven points clear in the third quarter of Thursday – and they’re still within three points with less than nine minutes left in the fourth quarter – due to their defensive commitment. The Knicks allowed 105.2 points per game, the fifth lowest in the NBA.
“You always think you can do better. [Toronto] They didn’t shoot much. “You have a team like this to 100 points, you should have a chance to win it,” Tibudo said. “If we had made some of our trios we might have had a good chance of winning it.
“Our defense is something we have to keep working on – containing the ball, pressing the ball. We’re not perfect. I think if we put in the effort, we’d fly around, press the ball and our weak side was aware, we could cover up.” [our] Errors. “