Knicks Concerned About Early Load Carried by $120 Million Star: Source

Knicks Concerned About Early Load Carried by $120 Million Star: Source

Updated: 4 months, 25 days, 16 hours, 49 minutes, 18 seconds ago

One might normally attribute numerical anomalies to small sample size at this stage of the season, but there is some concern about R.J. Barrett around the Knicks. And it’s not necessarily Barrett’s doing.

The fourth-year wing has gotten off to a slow offensive start, shooting just 34.5% from the floor in three games. And while it’s fully expected he’ll find the strings more regularly as things progress, some close to the matter are pointing to a cause that could nag New York all season.

“His offense is suffering because he has to chase people around so much at the other end to make up for (Jalen) Brunson’s defensive deficiencies,” said a source. “It’ll be interesting to see how that gets handled going forward. That’s up to the coaches to decide how they want to work around that — you know, more help, switching the right way, how to bring the double-teams. But it can all change with matchups.

“Against Memphis, they were playing drop defense and letting Ja (Morant) get a full head of steam without a shot-blocker back there. That’s tough.”

The Knicks lost that game in overtime and came back to beat Detroit and Orlando, each by double figures. They host Charlotte on Wednesday and have a major test in Milwaukee Friday.

For now, New York is basing its style on the personnel on the floor at the time.

“The second group runs more,” said the source. “Derrick Rose, Obi (Toppin), (Immanuel) Quickley — those guys play fast. They can do that because they have a point guard that plays fast. Brunson doesn’t do that, and that’s fine. They know what he does and what he’s good at.”

Grant Williams Explains to Celtics Official

Grant Williams had a rough night in Chicago Monday. He went scoreless in 18 minutes (0-3 from the floor) and was a team-worse minus-26 as the Celtics squandered a 19-point lead on the way to a 120-102 loss.

A potentially expensive few moments for Grant Williams:

Crew chief Marc Davis said he made "intentional physical contact" with ref Cheryl Flores. Then this…

— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) October 25, 2022

Upset with a call, he also got himself ejected for, according to crew chief Marc Davis, making “intentional physical contact” with ref Cheryl Flores. Williams turned and shouted as he was guided from the court, punctuating his remarks with the word “bitch.”

All ejections are reviewed by the league.

Williams spoke with Celtics’ VP of Player Development and Organizational Growth Allison Feaster in the hallway outside visitors’ the locker room in the United Center.

According to a witness to the conversation, “She asked him if he touched the referee, and he’s like, ‘I walked toward her and she was backing up, so it wasn’t like intentional. I wasn’t trying to.’ He told her, ‘I didn’t say anything. I didn’t say anything.'”

Kevin McHale: Larry Bird ‘Would Terrorize’ Today’s NBA

In last week’s Celtics Mailbag, we were asked which former Celt would be better in today’s game. While we noted a number of them would do very well, Larry Bird might be particularly suited to the current NBA with its focus on 3-point shooting.

Kevin McHale agreed — strongly.

“Oh, good lord, Larry would terrorize this league in today’s game,” the Hall of Famer told Heavy Sports in a phone conversation. “First of all, Larry could pass his ass off. With all the space and everything today, his passing would stand out even more. And it would have been easier for him to move with the ball. Larry played straight line basketball until he got older and couldn’t. He had that pump fake and quick dribble that got him into the paint whenever he wanted to.

“But his ability to shoot the ball would be ridiculous with all the 3’s they take now. He didn’t really work on his 3 that much. Nobody did. He shot like 35 3’s to end his practice session. Now, before the All-Star Game, he would shoot a whole bunch. He went there with one expressed purpose, and that was to win the long distance shooting contest and put the money in the bank … and be able to talk s*** to everybody and tell them to kiss his a**.”

Larry Bird Highlights | Part 1 | Boston Celtics | NBC Sports Boston

Take a look back at some of Larry Bird's best plays during his career with the Boston Celtics with these game highlights. CONNECT ➡️ – Subscribe to our channel: – MyTeams App: – Our website: – Follow us on Instagram: – Like us on Facebook: – Follow us on Twitter:…


Shooting aside, there was another aspect of Bird that his former teammate believes would have stood out today.

“There’s a lot of reasons, but he would be really, really good because he was so rugged and tough,” McHale said. “He’d handle the big guys they threw at him. Just his innate toughness and his innate competitive nature in today’s, like, everybody-get-along, I-hope-you-like-me league would really stand out.

“If Birdie came in with the same attitude — you know, he didn’t get changed by AAU and everything — if it was the same Birdie that came in back in ’79? Oh, my God …”