NY Knicks: Comparing RJ Barrett to 3 third-year breakout players

RJ Barrett, Paul George, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
RJ Barrett, Paul George, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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NY Knicks
Paul George, NY Knicks. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) /

NY Knicks: RJ Barrett Year-3 comps — Paul George

Look I don’t want to get too crazy here, and maybe starting this off with Paul George is a little unfair.

I just wanted to put into perspective how many different trajectories players in the NBAs can have and how short of memory we can have when remembering how certain players got to their highest level.

Sophomore year Paul George was a promising young player averaging 12.1 points per game while playing just under 30 minutes.  He looked much improved as a shooter — he was up to 38.5 percent from three from his rookie season where he shot just over 29 percent.

George was a lottery pick who also had some high expectations.

In his third season, we began to see the real glimpses of what Paul George would one day become. George’s numbers jumped to 37.6 minutes per game and 17.6 points. He was a focal point of his team’s offense that featured bruising frontcourt players Roy Hibbert and David West.

NY Knicks fans know all too well about his Pacers team. Paul George broke out in the regular season but hit the national spotlight during the 2012-13 playoffs — playoffs that Knicks fans remember all too well.

George led the Pacers past the Knicks and pushed the Miami Heat big-3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh to a 7-game series. Paul George was on the map.

The following season, George’s 4th, was his first time averaging over 20 points per game.