RJ Barrett’s free-throw shooting has been a struggle, but New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale is confident he’ll snap out of it.
NEW YORK, NY—There are many things to criticize RJ Barrett for so far this season. The No. 3 overall pick is shining for the New York Knicks and head coach David Fizdale has been effusive with his praise for the rookie.
The one glaring weakness in Barrett’s game is his free throw shooting right now. Barrett is currently 32-for-69 (46.4%) from the line and he’s missed some big foul shots in crunch-time moments.
That being said, Fizdale isn’t worrying too much about the rookie’s current woes from the charity stripe.
“Like I said before I don’t think this is going to be a long-standing issue,” Fizdale said prior to the Knicks’ Saturday matchup with the Charlotte Hornets. “The kid is in the gym every day. He’s not rattled. He’s just getting to the line and working on it, putting in the time and the technique to iron out the wrinkles. Eventually, he’s going to get to a place where he’s well over 70.”
Free throw shooting is something plenty of rookies struggle with. One positive to pull from Barrett’s game so far is that he goes to the line often. He’s averaging just under six attempts per game from the line.
His smooth stroke will be inconsistent while he’s young, but Fizdale is right to be unconcerned about his aspect of Barrett’s game. As he grows more comfortable and has a few more games under his belt, his numbers will improve.
Barrett will eventually work out the kinks and improve upon his sub-50% free-throw numbers. He’s too good not to.
Rather, Barrett’s free throw shooting represents a hurdle for the 19-year-old to overcome. If he’s shown us anything so far, it’s that he’s not afraid of taking on the challenge of New York. If he can handle the Big Apple, he’ll have no problem figuring out his foul shooting in time.