Advanced stats nerds will pull out all sorts of math-y mumbo-jumbo to try and tell unsuspecting fans that RJ Barrett isn’t a very good basketball player. That is their whole reason for existing, to “inform” people that good players are actually bad and, similarly, that bad players are actually good. They love it. It gets them sweatier than they already are, which shouldn’t even be possible, considering their already sweat-drenched nature.
But I say: enough! The eye test is the only test that I need, and it should be the only test that a true basketball fan needs. Rudy Gay had the right idea when he banned boxscores from the Raptors locker room all those years ago. The eye test just from this game has revealed several things about Barrett:
-He can run
-He can jump
-He can, while running, jump at the same time so that he travels forward while in the air
-He can take it to the basket against NBA-caliber defenders and finish
-He can shoot jumpers
-He can draw shooting fouls in otherwise problematic situations
-He can make the resulting free throws
You could look at boxscores for days and not see even a single one of any of those things. It just wouldn’t happen, because stats are just numbers, but basketball is NOT just numbers. It’s the opposite of numbers.