RJ Barrett Applies FIBA World Cup Lessons to Knicks Game Strategy

β€£ Canada’s mens’ basketball team won their first-ever bronze medal in the FIBA World Cup held in Asia, beating the United States to third place and qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
β€£ RJ Barrett, a player for the Knicks, was instrumental in this achievement, scoring the game-winning shot that secured Canada’s first international medal in basketball.
β€£ The success of the Canadian team in the World Cup has inspired other Canadian NBA players, with five of them scoring 25 points or more in a single night.

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Something extraordinary occurred when Canada’s men’s basketball team clinched their first-ever bronze medal at the recent FIBA World Cup in Asia. They didn’t just secure third place, edging out the United States, but also punched their ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

RJ Barrett, a key player on the team, can’t help but grin at the thought of representing his nation at the Olympics. “It’s going to be a blast, a real thrill,” he recently shared. “It’s been over two decades since we’ve been there, so I’m raring to go. Just looking forward to spending time with my team. We achieved something remarkable, and we aim to keep that momentum going.”

In September, Barrett, who also plays for the Knicks, was the hero who scored the game-winning shot from beyond the arc. This shot secured Canada’s first international medal in basketball. According to the Ontario native, playing with his national team has significantly improved his overall game.

RJ Barrett’s stats in his last three games are impressive. He’s been averaging 24.3 points per game, 4.7 rebounds, and 2 assists. His field goal percentage is 49%, three-point field goal percentage is 35%, and free throw percentage is 81%. He’s been playing an average of 31 minutes per game.

“FIBA games require a different approach,” the 23-year-old explained. “An NBA game lasts 48 minutes, so a slow start can be recovered from. But in FIBA, you need to be on your game from the get-go due to the shorter duration. I believe this has helped me prepare better, right from tip-off.”

His stellar performance in the World Cup seems to be inspiring his current season in New York. He’s been averaging 19.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists over 17 games so far. One of his standout performances was on a Monday when he scored 27 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in his team’s 136-130 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Tom Thibodeau, his coach, noted, “Each summer, he returns to New York, further developed mentally, and with boosted confidence. His stint with Team Canada played a significant role in his quick start this season. His shot consistency has improved dramatically. I know he’s put in a lot of work, and I believe he’s benefitted greatly from these experiences.”

Interestingly, other Canadian NBA stars seem to be riding the wave of inspiration from their World Cup success. On a recent Monday night, five of them scored 25 points or more, setting a new record for Canadian players in the NBA.

Bennedict Mathurin led the pack with 30 points in Indiana’s 131-123 win over Detroit. Jamal Murray added 29 points in Denver’s victory against Atlanta. Shaedon Sharpe scored 27 points in Portland’s 132-127 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander contributed 30 points in the Thunder’s 134-120 win over the Jazz.

Shai, the star of Oklahoma City, delivered this impressive performance just hours after receiving the Northern Star Award. This award is Toronto’s annual recognition for the country’s athlete of the year.

“It’s a great feeling,” Shai shared post-game. “I’d like to thank the many players who came before me and laid the groundwork for me to excel as I have, coming from Canada. It’s an honor to represent my country and be recognized by the nation where I was raised. It’s an amazing feeling and a true honor.”

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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