3 hot takeaways from Knicks’ tough win over Kings

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: Quentin Grimes #6 of the New York Knicks (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: Quentin Grimes #6 of the New York Knicks (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /
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RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /

3. RJ Barrett may finally be turning a corner

RJ Barrett played 44 minutes last night and filled the stat sheet with 27 points, nine rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocks. He was aggressive and had some great takes to the hole. The big thing was that he got to the free throw line often. It was honestly one of the best games he’s played this season.

Barrett has not had a great season so far as he has struggled to shoot the ball efficiently. He also wasn’t finishing at the rim like we’ve become used to. He finally looks to be coming out of that and has been resembling the player we saw post All-Star break last year.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot more room for improvement, but at least he’s trending upward. He still forces a lot of contested shots around the rim and he’s yet to find consistency from behind the arc, though he shot 2-of-5 from three last night.

Barrett, now in his fourth year in the NBA, signed a four-year contract extension this past summer worth $120 million. It ended the Donovan Mitchell saga for the Knicks and marked a full commitment to Barrett’s potential. The pressure that comes with that contract has put Barrett in the crosshairs of a lot of scrutiny from fans about his play so far this season.

A lot has quickly become uncertain when it comes to the future direction of the Knicks. Yet, nothing matters more to New York’s future than the development of RJ Barrett. Many, including myself, believe Barrett has All-Star potential and possibly even more than that. But there is still a lot of growth to take place. Last night’s performance was “All-Star like” and is now what is expected of him if the Knicks hope to have any success.