It hasn't taken long for Canadian rookie RJ Barrett to make a positive impression as a New York Knick.
Through three games, the 19-year-old is averaging 21.0 points to go along with 5.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.7 steals. Following Barrett's 26-point (on 9-20 shooting), seven-rebound performance in the Knicks loss to the Boston Celtics Saturday night, New York head coach David Fizdale was extremely complimentary of the rookie's performance:
"He's a stud, that's the only way I can put it. He's a stud," Fizdale told reporters postgame.
Saturday marks the first time in Barrett's young career in which he was his team's leading scorer; all signs indicate that it will be the first of many. The efficiency with which Barrett has scored so far is quite possibly the most impressive aspect of his game thus far - he's shooting 51.0% from the field and a scorching 53.8% from deep.
There's room for growth, too - Barrett is shooting just 42.9% from the free throw line and averaging nearly five turnovers per game. An improvement upon his free throw shooting and ball control will only mean better performances from the young player.
New York selected Barrett third overall in this year's draft, giving the rookie expectations of being one of the main catalysts that reverse some of the franchise's recent misfortunes. The Mississauga native has been better than expected early on and has been a bright spot throughout the team's 0-3 start.
Following the game, Barrett displayed the composure of a veteran as he told reporters that the team will remain persistent in working to turn things around:
"We're just going to keep working to turn it around"- Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) October 27, 2019
RJ Barrett on the disappointing start to the season pic.twitter.com/vU50c0udP7
As he continues to grow and improve, more big performances are to be expected from the Canadian, who has already begun building a strong case to be a Rookie of the Year candidate.