New York Knicks standout rookie, RJ Barrett, left an eventual loss to the Suns with a sprained ankle. It couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Last night, it was a 121-98 loss for the New York Knicks as they fell to the Phoenix Suns in Madison Square Garden. As if that wasn’t bad enough, their main rebuilding piece went down just like their playoff chances in the Eastern Conference.
Starlet rookie, RJ Barrett, limped to the locker room with a right ankle sprain following some tough contact from Phoenix guard Ricky Rubio in the third quarter of last night’s loss. This is the first time fans have seen Barrett battle with any form of a worrying injury as he’s been incredibly durable all year, playing in 41 of the Knicks’ 42 games. Seen on crutches last night, Barrett was reserved when talking about his injury to the media.
“It hurts… I’ve never really been hurt before,” he was annoyed about it, but realistic at the least “We play so many games, it was bound to happen”.
For Barrett, this obviously comes at a bad time, who was looking to make a case for Rookie of the Year over leading candidate, Ja Morant. This comes at an even worse time for a Knicks team that is now over the honeymoon phase with their interim head coach, Mike Miller.
After winning only one of their last eight and two of their last ten, Miller and the Knicks need wins and need them now before the season hits a complete landslide. At first, fans were optimistic about what Miller brought to the table as he was able to land a few more wins under the team’s belt. Of course, injuries played a role in all of this happening too. With Morris out until last night, to Reggie Bullock, Dennis Smith Jr., and now Barrett, the Knicks have definitely hit a little bit of a rough patch this season.
Regardless, even if you take all of those players I just mentioned above, they still have enough new signings, and veteran signings at that, to contribute enough to get maybe a few more wins. One thing’s for sure, the Knicks look as though they’ll be heading back to the lottery, which on paper looks good, but it’s only a matter of time before players and fans start to get disgruntled. There’s a clear lack of identity on this team and that comes from not only the interim head coach but all the way up top with the brass of the organization too.
This Barrett injury is eye-opening and obviously, for more reasons than one. Things aren’t as promising as they look to be in the mecca and that’s for certain. Sure, LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, and Anthony Edwards are all in play for the Knicks to grab in the 2020 NBA Draft and that helps a lot, but when are the Knicks going to take that last step out of mediocrity, go after a truly competent coach, and go for the gusto? Scott Perry, the ball’s in your court. Make a play.