Following the Knicks’ elimination by the Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Stephen A. Smith, a devoted Knicks fan and ESPN analyst, unleashed on RJ Barrett for his poor performance. Barrett scored 11 points, shooting just 1/10 from the field, including 0/3 from beyond the arc in 32 minutes of play.
In his post-game rant, Smith criticized the young player, saying “RJ Barrett, it’s going to be a long offseason. You are absolutely pathetic. 1/10 from the field in 32 minutes. All you could score was one basket. You got to really look yourself in the mirror and work on your game young man.”
Despite Barrett’s struggles in Game 6, he had been a key contributor for the Knicks throughout the playoffs. Before Game 6, he averaged 20.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3 assists in 34.5 minutes per game, shooting 45.5% from the field. In the regular season, Barrett averaged 19.6 points, 5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 33.9 minutes per game.
The Knicks’ loss to the Heat means they have not reached the conference finals since the 1999-2000 season.