RJ Barrett has improved his ROTY of the year candidacy by contributing directly to an unexpected Knicks victory over the Heat. He could have contributed even more by hitting more of his free throws at the end of the game, but it was still a very good game for the rookie.
However, the ROTY of the year trophy is very unlikely to end up on Barrett’s mantel unless drastic action is taken. The drastic action I am envisioning does not involve scoring more points or increasing shooting percentages or improving on basketball skills in any way. It involves subjugating the other young players on the team to make it clear that Barrett is the alpha. The voters love alphas.
Step one: Barrett has to make Kevin Knox into his bitch. Knox isn’t getting minutes so this can’t happen on the court, but it doesn’t need to happen on the court. It needs to happen in the locker room. It can start slowly by asking Knox for small favors (“hey, can you grab my shoes I left over there”) and progress until Knox is waiting hand-and-foot on Barrett 24 hours a day.
Step two: Barrett has to make Frank Ntilikina into his bitch. The steps for achieving this are similar to the steps that were involved in making Knox his bitch.
Step three: Barrett has to make Mitchell Robinson into his bitch. Actually, I don’t think this is going to work. Robinson doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would be anybody’s bitch. If Barrett tried to pull anything crazy, Robinson would just dunk on him in practice over and over until Barrett started crying.
Step four: average 25/5/5 for the rest of the season and win ROTY of the year.