New York Knicks: Five narratives that have defined 2019-20 so far

New York Knicks (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Questionable narratives have overtaken a poor 4-13 start to the New York Knicks’ season.

An unwelcomed start to the season has the New York Knicks reeling. They are 4-13, near the bottom of the NBA standings, and continuing to plummet with each loss, including back-to-back defeats to the San Antonio Spurs and Brooklyn Nets at home.

Through nearly one-quarter of the season, a handful of narratives have defined the Knicks. Some are positive, but most are negative, given the on-court play through the first month. So what has defined 2019-20 so far?

5. RJ Barrett is a piece to build around

Let’s start with — if only just one of them — a positive discussion of the 2019-20 season. It starts with RJ Barrett, who hasn’t played perfect basketball but is a piece towards the New York Knicks’ future.

Barrett started the season hot, including a strong season-opening performance against the San Antonio Spurs and through the next few games. He has cooled off, but 15.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals is solid. 41.3 percent shooting and 34.7 percent on three-pointers are enough as a rookie.

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49.4 percent on free throws is horrendous for any player, though, and a clear-cut aspect to improve greatly on.

Otherwise the Knicks have something to work with. This is a building block towards whatever timeline they have in development, and Barrett will likely be joined by another lottery pick in 2020 and two more first-round picks in 2021 (the Knicks own Dallas’ selection). It will represent a slow-burn rebuild, something the Knicks are not accustomed to and may never accept, but a path they are forced to travel.

For Barrett’s sake, he can’t move forward like the 2018 rookies, who once possessed intrigue and promise for the Knicks’ future. That narrative has taken a sharp left turn from last season.