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New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau believes RJ Barrett can turn around a shooting slump if he just works on it.

Barrett, the third-year guard-forward who had shown tremendous growth last season and early this season as a shooter, has been mired in a shooting slump for weeks.

After shooting 48% from the field and 38% from three-point range in October, Barrett has shot just 36.4% from the field and 27.8% from three over his past 16 games. He is down to 31% from three on the season after shooting 40% last year.

Asked by reporters about Barrett's shooting slump, Thibodeau suggested Barrett (who had been sick) needs to get back in the gym.

"I have a lot of confidence in [Barrett] being able to work his way out of it," Thibodeau said, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. "When you throw in, he's been sick, and to me, you get rhythm when you work.

"Last year, he got going when he started coming in every night to shoot. So there's no notion that you [work] sometimes — you got to do it all the time. So get back in the gym, get back to grooving your shot. Shoot a lot of 3s, and you'll start making more."

According to Berman, the Knicks have shot-tracking devices in their practice facility that allow coaches to see how many shots each player takes.

Since being drafted with the third overall pick in 2019, Barrett has developed a reputation as being a hard worker and professional. Likewise, Thibodeau rarely criticizes players in public. The comment may serve as much as a directive for Barrett to work his way out of the slump as much as it is criticism about Barrett's work ethic.

Nonetheless, the comment comes at a shaky time for the Knicks. The team has lost three straight and 10 of their last 16 games to fall to 11-12. If the playoffs began today, the Knicks wouldn't qualify for the play-in tournament.

Thibodeau has already removed Kemba Walker, the team's biggest offseason acquisition, from the rotation. Meanwhile, reigning All-Star Julius Randle is facing increased scrutiny over a regression from an All-NBA season last year.

Luckily for the Knicks, their December schedule looks soft, as eight of their next 13 games against teams with records below-.500. A rebound from Barrett could help turn around the team's fortunes.

Source : https://www.insider.com/rj-barrett-shooting-slump-tom-thibodeau-off-court-work-2021-12

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