5 Takeaways from the Knicks 2020-2021 Season

RJ Barrett, Reggie Bullock, Derrick Rose, NY Knicks.Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
RJ Barrett, Reggie Bullock, Derrick Rose, NY Knicks.Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /
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RJ Barrett, NY Knicks (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Knicks: RJ Barrett and the Rookies

While the bulk of the praise will be going to Julius Randle and Thibs for this success of this season, there also has to be a huge shout to the future of the franchise, 2nd-year guard RJ Barrett. Without RJ playing the way he did this season, this team probably doesn’t make the playoffs and maybe only scratches the play-in tournament.

The sophomore guard made a leap across his entire stats sheet. He upped his points per game, rebounds, and assists as well as a huge jump in efficiency (just not in the playoffs apparently).  He averaged 17.6 ppg, 5.8rpg, 3 apg, while shooting .457 % from the field and 40% from three per basketball reference.

He took a massive step up on defense as well, usually guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter wing taking on the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and more. He even got some votes for most improved! He was also one of only 11 players to play every game of the season, the man is built for this.

How high is RJ’s ceiling? We may not find out for several more years, but one this is for sure, what this kid is doing at 20 and with the poise he has, he will reach that ceiling.

Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin

It ends up our new management can draft pretty well, who knew? With the 8th and 25th pick in the 2020 NBA draft, the Knicks selected Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley respectively. While the original buzz of the city was about Obi, the true gem of the draft ended up being Quickley. He may very well be the steal of the draft going at 25.

Not to bore you with more stats, because when you watch him, he passes the eye test. He’s confident, a reliable free throw shooter, and has the confidence at 21 to take shots at Dame Lillard and Stephen Curry range. Once he gains some more muscle and becomes more acclimated to the NBA game, this kid could be really special and maybe (hopefully) the answer to the Knicks’ long-time point guard woes.

I didn’t forget about you Obi don’t worry.

While some fans mind find this pick disappointing, especially with the emergence of Tyrese Haliburton, he steadily improved over the season and even got meaningful playoff minutes for a coach who does not play young players. The heir apparent to the pf position, and maybe still is, he was set up to fail from the beginning this year. Everyone expected Julius out after last year and no one saw his level of improvement coming.

When given a bigger opportunity to play through some growing pains, I think Obi has a real chance to make big contributions for years to come, he just needs more minutes.