RJ Barrett finishes at the rim vs. Pistons in preseason
RJ Barrett missed his first six shots in the Knicks’ preseason opener on Friday. Then, he got hot.
Barrett has made 17 of his last 27 shots in the preseason. He went 10-for-17 in the Knicks’ loss to Detroit on Sunday – one of the few bright spots in a game that Tom Thibodeau labeled a regression for New York.
Barrett was able to get to the paint and made several shots in the mid-range. Afterward, an NBA personnel man from another team felt Barrett’s shot looked stronger.
“He seemed to be balanced better, repeating himself more. The shot looked much better,” the scout said.
The 20-year-old’s perimeter shooting is widely considered a key to his growth as a player. Barrett’s shot was inconsistent last season. Obviously, if Barrett can knock down perimeter shots, he becomes a bigger threat on offense.
That’s one area worth keeping an eye on for Barrett and New York this season.
The 2019 No. 3 overall pick wasn’t ready to pat himself on the back after Sunday’s game.
“I just want to make the right plays,” said Barrett, who went 4-5 from the free-throw line. “I’ve been watching a lot of film. I’ve been having too many turnovers. Just try to make the right play so that the team can be successful. It doesn’t matter if I score or get the hockey assist or get the assist – it doesn’t matter.”
Barrett got to the basket regularly against Detroit, hitting six of his nine attempts at the rim. He finished with four turnovers and two assists. That’s one area that hurt the Knicks on Sunday. They had 22 turnovers overall against Detroit.
“I need to do a lot better job,” Barrett said when asked if playmaking was a point of emphasis during his offseason workouts. “My teammates are hitting me in great positions. I need to do a better job of getting it to them. Like I said, I had too many turnovers, that kills the team. So I’m just going to try to get back to watching film again to watch film some more.”
In general, Barrett said he felt more at ease in the first two games of his second NBA season.
“It’s a little slower,” Barrett said of the speed of the game. “I’m a little more comfortable. I kind of know what to expect a little bit more.”