New York Knicks: RJ Barrett’s 2022 is off to a blazing start

The New York Knicks continue to try and steer their season in the right direction and one of their driving forces has been the recent play of RJ Barrett.

This was the stretch of games the Knicks needed to get back on track. One of the keys to their recent success has clearly been the play of RJ Barret.

New York Knicks: RJ Barrett’s growing confidence.

Really, this is a follow-up to something I wrote at the very beginning of the New Year, titled “RJ Barrett faces critical 2022”. 

In that article, I detailed just how important this year would be for Barrett in his development, perception, and value to the New York Knicks.

It has been a rollercoaster, to say the least. The ups and downs of RJ Barrett’s NBA career don’t even feel like the normal growing pains you see from young players.

What I mean by that is that the ups and downs have been so drastic that they give evidence to either side of his potential, meaning that, there has been evidence that he isn’t a very good NBA player and evidence that he is a budding star.

However, so far in 2022, he has been putting on for the city. It’s all about maximizing your strengths and RJ Barrett has absolutely been playing at the top of his game so far this calendar year.

Through five games in January, Barrett has averaged 22.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists on  45.6% from the field and 48% from three.

The big numbers and high shooting percentages have come from Barrett really playing to his strengths and shooting from his favorite spots on the floor.

His usage rate has been through the roof in that span. He hasn’t had a usage rate below 25% in his last 6 games. 

It always seems like it’s about being aggressive for Barrett. With both Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose sidelined, Barrett is by far the Knicks’ best perimeter player in terms of getting pressure on the rim.

They need him to be attacking. His drives per game are way up from his season averages and that’s exactly what they need him to do — this is when he’s at his best. Going at the teeth of the defense and making plays.

Consistency is the key. As we know, this has been an “easy” stretch of games for New York in terms of their opponent’s winning percentage.

Barrett’s per-game stats against teams with a winning record are not pretty.

Stringing together these types of performances is the major key in Barrett taking that next step as a player. He’s off to a fantastic start.