The New York Knicks faced off against the Memphis Grizzlies in the season opener and dropped a thriller in overtime.
Struggling forward Cam Reddish, somebody who is fighting for minutes in the regular season and is getting them currently thanks to an injury to Quentin Grimes, and he knocked down the crucial three-pointer that took the Knicks into overtime.
It was a good moment for him, and fans were pleased to see him hit a shot like that. On the other hand, there was a lot of hate toward RJ Barrett on opening night.
Fresh off signing a four-year contract extension that pays him over $100 million, he had perhaps his worst game as a Knick and fans let him hear it.
Fans Sound Off on RJ Barrett
Barrett played 38 minutes and shot 3-18 from the floor, including missing all six of his three pointers. Barrett shot near 50 percent in the preseason, so this was a huge drop for him, and it certainly played a role in the loss.
Twitter account Hater Central, a meme account that “praises” bad performances put Barrett’s performance on display, and many other fans chimed in.
“RJ Barrett shooting 3/18 wow that’s my mom’s birthday,” said one fan.
“If Julius Randle put up this RJ Barrett game tonight he would be DESTROYED,” said another.
There are still 81 more games to go and Barrett will likely not put up performances like this on a regular basis, but it’s tough to see it come in such a close game where just a couple of those misses going in could have been the difference.
All in all, he finished at a zero in the plus/minus category, so he ended up not being a detriment to the team.
Obi Toppin and Mitchell Robinson tied for a team worse at -7, while Julius Randle finished with a team best +7.
Randle is somebody who had a lot of question marks coming into the season, and he was looked at as a player who could potentially request a trade at some point in the season, so him getting off to a good start like this is a good sign for the Knicks.
New Randle Here to Stay?
Randle putting up 24/11/6 is nothing new to fans, but it also came on 9-16 shooting, so the efficiency was there for him unlike last season. This would put him more in line with his All-NBA year from two seasons ago.
He did attempt six three pointers and make two of them, so either that efficiency has to rise or he has to stop shooting as many. Randle is one of the most physically fit players in the league, and he could likely dominate close to the basket, but that’s not where he finds himself throughout the game very often.
With Jalen Brunson in town, there was a sense that Randle would have to change his game up, and an Eastern Conference executive lays that out as something to watch for in the event Randle requests a trade.
“He could definitely be a guy who looks to request a trade this year,” the exec told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney. “I don’t think they’re going to be using him the way he is used to being used, not with the wings that they have.”