On the eve of the Nucks’ home opener in December, swingman RJ Barrett put a positive spin on playing in a fan-less garden.
The No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft was projected to have Nax opponents getting up to play in front of the Garden crowd and was adversely affected.
On December 26, Barrett said, “There really can be no benefit to being a fan.” I know that if I was a contestant, I come to the Garden with all those fans, I want to have a great game. So we really have no benefit.
It has been played that way. The Knicks are 8-6 in their 14 crowd-less garden games. Their Tuesday tilt vs. Golden State begins a new version of their home schedule as 2,000 fans will be allowed inside. And some of them can certainly cheer and swoop in for the game’s most popular player, Stephen Curry.
However, Barrett has changed his tune. He did not like the nullity despite the Nucks’ winning record at the Garden, highlighting a season that has been better than expected. The Knicks are 15-16 and seventh in the Eastern Conference.
Barrett also did not remember the jeers of the Old Garden.
“I am sincerely happy the fans,” said Barrett, reminding him of his December comments. “He was remembered. It’s playing very well at home, but nothing when I compare the fans back there to the garden I’m really excited for it. “
“I think it’s a little different in terms of homecourt benefits,” Barrett said. “There is no fan. You are really just playing basketball. I am used to it but at the end of the day, playing basketball, you want fans. You want to hear cheer, you want to hear boon. All that. “
The garden will only be 10 percent full Tuesday, so it is unclear how much noise they can make in an area with a capacity of 19,040. Picture that during 14 Garden games fake cheers can secretly aid small crowds.
“I think it means a lot to New York,” Barrett said. “This is a tremendous amount for us, which gives us an extra boost. I miss the joy and happiness where fans are happy.
Barrett led the NBA in minutes in January, but Knicks coach Tom Thibodo withdrew him, especially after trading Darren Rose. He averaged 26.7 minutes in the last seven games. The Knicks are 4-3 in that period.
In the first 24 games, Barrett averaged 35.1 minutes.
“It’s been great,” Barrett said. “Whatever the team needs. Everything the team needs is good. It has been working for us lately so I am very happy. “
Julius Randley, who has been hours away from being named as an All-Star presumably through the coach’s vote, has given some credit to assistant coach Kenny Payne for his career year. They were together in Kentucky and Randley said he tried to make excuses for her to come. The Post has reported that Payne initially closed the Knicks’ overhaul.
“Yes, I definitely tried to convince him,” Randle said. “When I heard, I was convinced that it was a possibility. He’s my boy – there’s no one in your corner better than him. It is definitely a great thing for me, he is coming here. The relationship I have with him is amazing. It was good “