The 10 best players in the New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks series

New York Knicks (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
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RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Frank Franklin II/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /

Best players in the New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks series: #4 RJ Barrett

It’s actually quite commendable that in year two, Barrett is already a big player to watch in a playoff series. That’s really a testament to how much he worked on improving his outside shot and seeing the results pour in throughout the season.

A 32% three-point shooter last season, Barrett has been one of the most lethal players from deep in all of the NBA in 2020-21. He’s one of just 49 players to shoot above 40% from distance this year and the only player from the 2019 draft class to do so.

Barrett’s averages of 17.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists are as complete as any wing in their second year in the NBA could be. He’s continued to bring it on both sides of the floor as well, as may be tasked with slowing down Bogdan Bogdanovic, which is no easy task.

For the New York Knicks to win this series, Barrett might even have to increase those averages more. Atlanta has some talent on offense, and although New York prides itself on defense, there will be times when they’ll need to score a few extra points. Along with Derrick Rose, Barrett will be counted on to help out Julius Randle in that department.