cgmw wrote:RJ year 3 is another example of the same "nature vs. nurture" argument we always have on this board. On the one hand, RJ is a damn talented blue chip prospect with exceptional upside (nature). On the other hand, the Knicks just demoted him down from #2 scoring option to probably #3 or maybe even #4 behind much more experienced players (nurture).
I feel like the macho messageboard hero/ Dolan-organization thing to say is "eat what you kill." If RJ is so talented, he'll rise to the top. But I also think it's asking a lot for a 21 year old kid to compete for touches against Julius Randle, Kemba Walker, and Evan Fournier. Gun to my head, I'm betting on "nurture" to overcome "nature" and RJ regresses or doesn't improve much. But I can see how his talent might just be enough to rise to the top.
If Leon is as smart as he seems to be, he'll know that RJ's upside (as of right now) is still the best bet this franchise has to compete for a 'chip. Problem is, Thibs just seems like the kind of non-creative offensive coach who will demand that Julius and Kemba dominate the ball, relegating RJ to a lot of release-valve "3 and D" kick outs. Then again, Thibs is also the kind of coach to play RJ 40mpg. So I guess we shall see.
Nothing would make 2021-22 a bigger success than breakout RJ. The city would go batsh*t if he made the All Star Team and he'd be instantly bigger than any Knick since Melo.
Counter argument: Having more talent on the team might reduce touches but raise the quality of the touches and make for a better, more efficient player. Two caveats would be, would the young player accept it - is he a "play the right way" kind of player? And "Are the vets "play the right way" vets who share the ball and look for the best shot, no matter who has it?
So, Frazier comes into the NBA, and has to get touches from among Dick Barnett, Cazzie Russell, Willis Reed, Bill Bradley and even Dick Van Arsdale.
I do notice the Knicks traded Van Arsdale away the following season. Was that to enable more touches for Frazier?
By year 3, Add Dave DeBusschere looking for shots.
I know, not fair to select one of the most unselfish basketball teams of all time.
If the Knicks under Thibs are truly well coached, RJ will play better, but may score the same or less.