A couple of quick NBA notes: last year, former Blue Devil RJ Barrett took a fair amount of criticism over his performance for the New York Knicks. People admired his versatility and maturity but weren't necessarily totally sold on him.
Fast forward to now.
The Knicks still have to deal with owner James Dolan and he could (and has more than once) wreck things but for a change, the Knicks have some intelligent management and good coaching at the same time.
Tom Thibodeaux is admired for his defensive savvy and his work with young teams and it’s paying off. The Knicks are just 9-12 but by New York standards that ain’t bad. Two years ago they won just 17 and last season 21. They’ve only been above .500 three times this century.
So expectations can’t be too wild.
Still, with Julius Randle, Emmanuel Quickly and Barrett, the Knicks have a nice young foundation to build on. Kawhi Leonard was impressed with Barrett, saying this: “I liked his mindset. The sky is the limit.”
Time will tell if they can maintain it but we’ll see.
Incidentally, former NC State star Dennis Smith is a Knick but has had trouble finding a role. He’s asked to be sent down to the G-League to show he can still produce and the Knicks have agreed to it.
In other Duke news, JJ Redick may be on the trading block again.
New Orleans has a ton of potential and a ton of draft picks and are in position to build quickly if they get what they need to put around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
Apparently the Celtics are interested and so is Philly (again) and Brooklyn.
Redick lives full-time in Brooklyn so getting closer to home would be nice. And what a home it is