Is RJ Barrett The X Factor?

Is RJ Barrett the Knicks X Factor in the upcoming first round series against the Cavaliers?

The stage is set. The Knicks will face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The series will be an interesting one to say the least and has some compelling factors to keep an eye on. Especially when it comes to Donovan Mitchell playing against the team he was nearly traded to last summer. Even though this might be the case, I think people are missing probably the most important X factor that can make or break the Knicks in this series.

R.J Barrett.

With Julius Randle’s health being in limbo, it will be called upon for R.J Barrett to take his game to the next level on both ends of the floor. Barrett will likely be one of the main Knicks players that will be defending the explosive back court of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. He will also be relied on to be a key scoring option on the offensive end that can take the load off of Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle. Randle is expected to play despite the injury.

The Knicks are probably going to need Barrett to put up 20PPG or more while also being an effective defender on the perimeter if they are going to have a shot at winning this series.

Knicks v Cavs Regular Season

The Knicks did have success against the Cavaliers during the regular season, beating them three out of the four games. Barrett didn’t necessarily dazzle the crowd with his performances during those games.  He only averaged 15 PPG while shooting around 43% from the field. The Knicks will need more production out of him if they want to beat the heavily favored Cavaliers in this series.

If he plays well and consistently hits shots from the perimeter, it can really break down Cleveland’s defense and take the pressure off of the Knicks stars. If Barrett struggles, winning the series will be more of a difficult task than it already is. The capability for Barrett to have a good series is there but he has to put it into action. 

The series will kick off this Saturday in Cleveland. Stealing the 1st game on the road can potentially set the tone for how this series is going to go. We’ll see if R.J Barrett can be that X factor that the Knicks need him to be.



Submit a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More from thePeachBasket

Darrion Romulus

April 12, 2023