The New York Knicks don’t have a lot of things going right for them this season, and their injury to star RJ Barrett is high up on the list of problems.
This injury came late in a blowout against the Denver Nuggets just a few games before the All Star Break. With under a minute to go, Barrett came off the floor with an ankle injury that has kept him out of every game since.
With the week off, he’s gotten a chance to rest up and he did practice with the team on Wednesday, so he’s definitely gearing up for a return to the team.
When asked about his controversial injury, Barrett didn’t take the chance to blame his coach, but instead he basically said injuries are part of the game.
Barrett Speaks Out
While many would agree Barrett should have not been on the floor that late in a game where the outcome was already decided, the Knicks star argued that it could happen at any point.
“I think I was just frustrated just with the injury itself,” Barrett via the New York Post. “You never want to get hurt. It was a sprained ankle. I always want to be out on the court. It doesn’t matter when. So I feel like especially spraining my ankle like that, that could have happened in the first 10 seconds of the game, so it doesn’t matter.”
On the season, Barrett is averaging a career high in 18 points per game, but his efficiency is down from last year as he’s shooting just 41.2 percent and 35.4 percent from three. Despite that, he’s one of the most important players the team has and his health will have a big impact on the team going forward.
When Barrett does come back from his injury, there will be some new things he has to get adjusted to.
Kemba Walker Done For Season
On February 23, the Knicks announced Walker was being shut down for the remainder of the year.
“We fully support Kemba’s decision to shut it down for the remainder of the season to use this time to prepare for next season,” New York Knicks President Leon Rose said in a statement. “His long-term success on the court remains our priority.”
This marks the second time Walker has been taken out of the rotation this year. Since he wasn’t moved at the trade deadline, the decision of this benching does come as a surprise. It might boil down to the fact the Knicks believe he could be more movable in the offseason than he would’ve been mid-season.
When Barrett returns from injury, he’ll have a new point guard starting alongside him. As of right now, it appears Alec Burks will anchor the position, but Derrick Rose will be back from injury soon and he could be in the running as well.
A dark horse candidate would be fan-favorite rookie Miles McBride, but don’t hold you breath for that. Tom Thibodeau has always liked his veterans, so it’d definitely be a shocker to see him opt for a rookie to start down the stretch. At the very least, it could mean more minutes for his rookie guard.