Knicks Star Dishes on His Epic Struggle: ‘Everything Will Figure Itself Out’

RJ Barrett Knicks

Getty New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett during a game against the Denver Nuggets.

A month really isn’t a particularly long period of time in the grand scheme of things. In the NBA, though, it’s an eternity — a span during which the entire world can change for a player or a team. Just ask the New York Knicks and former No. 3 overall pick RJ Barrett.

One month ago — on November 5 — the Knicks were sitting pretty at 6-3 on the early season, having just dropped the defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks by 15 points. Meanwhile, Barrett was just days removed from a career-high scoring effort and was averaging 19.2 points per game and shooting 40% from three.

Fast-forward to now and the Knicks’ reality has been turned upside down. New York is currently in 11th place in the Eastern Conference with a sub-.500 record. And Kemba Walker has gone from being the team’s starting floor general to being out of the rotation entirely.

As for Barrett, he’s struggling like he never has before.

Barrett Speaks out on His Incredible Shooting Funk

RJ Barrett: “We just got to fight.” | Knicks Post-Game (12/4/21)RJ met with the media following the Knicks loss against the Denver Nuggets on December 4, 2021.2021-12-04T21:20:51Z

Over his last 13 games, Barrett has failed spectacularly in finding the bottom of the net. He has connected on just 32.9% of his shot attempts during that stretch while shooting a paltry 22.4% from deep. Consequently, his scoring average has dipped to a career-low 14 points per contest for the year.

Barrett has maintained, though, that his current slump is nothing outside of the ordinary and that he is doing what he needs to in order to right the ship.

“I’ve kinda figured that out now and I’ve just been working on the shots I’m going to get and certain other shots,” Barrett said, via SportsNet New York. “I’ve been in shooting funks before and not too worried about it… Going back to the basics which you know works. After that, everything will figure itself out.”

As he sees it, what he and his Knicks are going through currently is just part of the greater process of navigating an 82-game campaign.

“I think we’re at the part of the season where we’re trying to figure it out,” Barrett explained. “Who we’re going to be, what we’re going to do every night and whoever we’re going to be we have to figure it out quick and make sure we stick to it and win some games.”

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Did Thibodeau Just Rip Barrett?

While Barrett was relatively measured in his assessment of the shooting slump, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau was significantly more flamboyant with his response to the situation.

Although he typically relates the struggles of the individual to those of the team, he seemingly took aim at Barrett directly when he was asked about the 21-year-old’s recent doldrums.

“To me you get rhythm when you work. Last year, he got going when he started coming in every night to shoot. So there’s no notion that you [work on your shot in the gym] sometimes — you’ve got to do it all the time,” Thibodeau said over the weekend. “So, get back in the gym, get back to grooving your shot. Shoot a lot of threes and you’ll start making more.”


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