New York Knicks fans need to practice patience with RJ Barrett

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

New York Knicks fans have been asked to be patient for years regarding problems. This time around, they need to remain calm while RJ Barrett develops.

The NBA Summer League is often the first chance for millions to see highly touted rookies in a professional setting for early evaluation. New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett only has two games under his belt in Las Vegas and is already facing some initial concerns from many embattled fans.

Barrett has not put up incredible numbers in his two Summer League games shooting a woeful 7-for-33 from the field while turning the ball over at an alarming rate. In the Knicks recent 105-100 loss against the Phoenix Suns, the former Duke Blue Devils star logged eight sloppy turnovers. The favorable draw from Barrett through two outings has been his uncanny ability to grab rebounds amongst bigger opponents collecting ten on Sunday night.

Knicks assistant coach Jud Buechler is the man in charge for Summer League was very upbeat about Barrett’s progress while speaking with reporters.

"“RJ’s figuring it out,’’ Knicks Summer League coach Jud Buechler said. “There’s been a ton of pressure on him, especially the hype of the first game against Zion. He did some great things, bunch of rebounds, a defensive run. His shooting and all that will come. We’re not worried about that. We’re telling him to stay aggressive and it will come around.”"

It should be reasonably pointed out that Barrett is not playing with his full team or coaching staff and struggles in Summer League will not make or break a career. He is being matched up against guys playing for their professional livelihood for an opportunity to make a training camp roster. The matchup against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans was massively overblown because of their friendship, and Zion had a minor injury that will keep out the rest of the Summer League.

I doubt we will hear much criticism on the Pelicans new star because of this so then why are we overly critical of pick up games meant to measure physical fitness and new pro aptitude as opposed to wins. It needs to be a constant reminder that fans are only watching a live scrimmage that could easily take place behind closed doors for practice. Kevin Knox dominated Summer League last year and was nowhere near the running for Rookie of The Year during the regular season further proving the tournament session isn’t meant to evaluate talent fully.

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Barrett knows his focus should be on adjusting to the new playbook and working within the Knicks system this summer. Let’s try and hold the criticism for at least the preseason for a real test of his potential.