NY Knicks: 4 Players who could make or break the 2020-21 season

New York Knicks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks
Dec 13, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes (7) ties up New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) for a jump ball during the second quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

4) Knicks Make or Break Player: RJ Barrett

Without a doubt, the most important player to this Knicks team happens to be their 20-year old sophomore shooting guard. Regardless of win total, this upcoming season will be considered a success if Barrett can take a huge leap in his second year and become the primary scoring option.

He’s been impressive in training camp and has had a lot of time to fine-tune his game after a rookie season filled with the ups and downs that one would expect of a 19-year old. Thibodeau certainly has a lot of confidence that Barrett will be able to succeed.

With no big free agent addition to take away his shots, Barrett is going to be given every opportunity to put up numbers and have some big scoring nights this year. It’s almost certain that he’ll pass his career-high of 27 points on more than one occasion.

Like most players, RJ performed much better at home than on the road. At Madison Square Garden last year, he averaged 16.2 points and 5.1 rebounds on 44% shooting. On the road, those numbers dropped to 12.6 points and 4.9 rebounds on 36% shooting.

Considering the fact that hardly any fans will be in attendance on the road due to health restrictions, the absence of crowd noise should help boost those home/away splits.

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RJ Barrett is probably the most important of the key players who will have the largest impact on the team’s prosperity in 2021.