Should RJ Barrett be the New York Knicks 1st option?

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Prior to the team’s performance last night against the Pelicans, New York Knicks wing RJ Barrett has recently hit a stretch of great games, scoring at all three levels with solid efficiency.

Since Julius Randle’s 2 game absence from COVID protocols, his touches have increased. The Knicks have succeeded along with Barrett, which begs the question…

Should RJ Barrett Be the New York Knicks’ first option?

So far, the Knicks are 5-3 in 2022 and have been giving RJ Barrett the ball more since he’s shown an ability to get to the hoop, creating offense for the whole team.

Barrett’s driving to the hoop much more now than he has earlier this season, which has unlocked a totally new element to his game.

Barrett was driving to the hoop 12 times per game last season, and he was looking like a future all-star from it, but for the first half of this season, he seemed reluctant to drive.

He’s always been the type of player that drives to the hoop. In Duke, that’s how he created most of his offense. It’s great that his shooting has improved, but it’s a lot easier for him to get open now that defenders are prepared for him to attack the hoop.

Barrett has averaged 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists per game in his last 10 games and genuinely looks like he could be a first option at 21 years old.

With the Knicks being a team angled for the future, it’s reasonable to make Barrett the primary option on offense to see if he is the type of franchise player that all of us want him to be.

This is also no knock on Julius Randle. I heavily support Randle and have said that he is not the main reason for the Knicks up-and-down season.

Randle becoming the first scoring option was never really the plan for the Knicks. He’s an above-average rebounder and passer for a power forward. He would probably fare better as a second scoring option with his shot creation and shooting.

Barrett has had a usage rate of 30 in his last ten games. His opportunities have gone up, and he is feeding into it. His aggression and usage have picked up, and if he can consistently put these stats up, he should become the first option. RJ is once again showing that his potential is still through the roof.

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