The Knicks suffered a devastating 21-point loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night, and post-game head David Fizdale was once again answering questions around RJ Barrett's workload.
Barrett played 40:44 in the game, the second time this season he's played at least 40 minutes in a game. Through seven games the rookie is averaging 37.1 minutes per game, good for fifth in the league and first amongst rookies. Fizdale, however, seeing no issue with it and wants to move away from the load management culture.
MORE: Knicks coach David Fizdale compares RJ Barrett's to Kawhi Leonard
"He's got the day off tomorrow," Fizdale said after the 113-92 loss. "We gotta get off of this load management crap. Latrell Sprewell averaged 42 minutes for a season. This kid's 19 years old. Like, drop it, already."
When asked by reporters if the workload bothered Barrett, the Canadian laughed it off saying " I'm good, I'm nineteen.
"I'm good, I'm nineteen"- Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) November 4, 2019
RJ Barrett isn't worried about being overused pic.twitter.com/ic4kqSsmsx
Whether Fizdale or Barrett himself want to admit it, the extra minutes that the 19-year-old has racked up over seven games may indeed be already catching up to him.
In his first four games this season, Barrett averaged 20.5 points, 7.5 rebounds shooting 49.2% from the field and 47% from three. Over the last three games, his averages have dipped to 15.3 points, 4.7 rebounds shooting just 35% from the floor and 23% from three.
|First four games||37.3||20.5||7.5||49.2||46.7|
|Last three games||36.9||15.3||4.7||35.4||23.1|
While his averages will be stabilized eventually, his efficiency is what we should keep an eye on. If Barrett is to develop into the star he has the potential to be, he must find a way to remain efficient with the volume of attempts he'll have at his disposal. He also must simply knock down his free throws. Barrett is currently shooting just 47.6% from the foul line. Tired or not that has to change.
On the bright side, the lack of depth in the backcourt for the Knicks has left the door wide open for Barrett to develop on the court, something many thought wouldn't be possible after all the veteran signings New York may in the offseason.
Barrett and the Knicks are back in action on Wednesday night in Detroit when they take on the Pistons.
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