Thursday, January 27 2022
Mike Woodson makes some calls on the sideline during a Clippers game

Mike Woodson makes some calls on the sideline during a Clippers game

It seems like RJ Barrett is notorious for slow starts, but he certainly knows how to turn it on.

In his first four games this season, he made just 18 of his 46 shots (39.1 percent), averaging 12 points per contest. In his last three, he’s averaged 27.3 points on 63 percent shooting, knocking 12 of 19 shots from deep (63.2 percent).

Barrett took a big leap in his sophomore season, and if his last three games are a sign of things to come, he can very well be an All-Star in just his third season at age 21.

One of his former coaches has taken notice.

“I thought his jump from last year was a major jump when you look at players around the NBA…” Mike Woodson told Ian Begley on The Putback. “He’s a young player that I can’t help but think that is gonna continue to grow, but his jump is gonna be how far this team goes. Because he’s playing big All-Star minutes. When you put up those kind of minutes, you gotta do things on the floor to help your ball club make the next step.”

On Saturday night, Barrett became just the fifth player in NBA history to have a game of 35 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and six three-pointers made – the others are LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Trae Young, and Luka Doncic. Last year, he averaged 17.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in his age-20 season. Before last season, only James, Doncic,and Magic Johnson had done that in a full season prior to turning 21 (Zion Williamson also accomplished the feat last season).


Woodson has always been a big fan of Tom Thibodeau and gave him all the credit for bringing the Knicks to the playoffs last year.

With higher expectations for this year’s squad, Thibodeau’s former colleague expects more of the same.

“Just from a basketball standpoint, I think the guy is brilliant. His intelligence for the game of basketball’s off the chain, man, in terms of how he approaches the game, how he prepares for each game, how he prepares for the practice, he’s very organized. … Tom is right at the top when it comes to [preparing your team]…

“Mentally and physically, you’ve gotta push through. Thibs always pushed teams to play at a high level. And the media sometimes take that out of [context], ‘well, he pushed too hard.’ Bulls—t. If you want to win titles, you gotta do all the things that’s necessary to win them… Thibs’ clock is ticking just like the players that are playing for him, man. You gotta do everything possible once you get in that position to try to win a title.”

Source: Yahoo Sports


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