RJ Barrett: Knicks’ players embrace new roles because ‘we wanna win’
The Knicks have won nine of their last ten games entering Friday night’s matchup in Miami and climbed to 1.5 games out of the four-seed in the Eastern Conference.
For forward RJ Barrett the Knicks “haven’t done anything” yet and with under 20 games remaining in the regular season, now isn’t the time for complacency.
“We’re just working hard,” Barrett said before Friday night’s game. “I’ve always believed, I said it at the beginning of the year. Like I said before, just game by game, day by day, you can’t get comfortable, you can’t get content with what’s going on, we gotta continue to scratch out these wins.”
The Knicks’ turnaround this season came after head coach Tom Thibodeau shortened the rotation in late December, and with the addition of Josh Hart before the trade deadline, there was another change to the lineup to close out games.
And part of that change meant Barrett would see his crunch time minutes decrease. But Barrett said those changes haven’t impacted him or the team’s mentality.
“Cause we wanna win, we wanna win,” he said when asked about the players buying into their roles.
“You’ve gotta kinda put your pride aside. What’s better than winning? If you win you get to go to the playoffs, and then everybody eats off of that,” Barrett added. “It’s not always about just who has the best numbers, who has the best this, the best that. People get into All-Star games, people get contracts off just being a winner, being a good team guy.”
When asked about his role, the fourth-year man said, “I just play basketball. We winning, so I just play basketball.”
And as far as the outside noise of experts before the season, Barrett dismissed the notion of any extra juice of the Knicks beating preseason expectations.
“We’re not worried about [outside] people, honestly… We really don’t care, honestly,” the Knicks’ forward said. “We have a close nit group, so just the guys in the locker room, everybody working, trying to be the best version of themselves, to put that together with the team, that’s really what we care about.”
Source: Yahoo Sports