The "mecca" of basketball, Madison Square Garden, has seen some incredible New York Knicks' talent grace its court over the years. While the franchise's recent history has not lived up to the high expectations fans are used to, they have some exciting young talent looking ahead at the remainder of the 2020-21 NBA season. In the latest NBA News, one of their young talents, RJ Barrett, has discussed what it will be like playing in an empty arena when they face the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.
NBA News: Empty arena could improve New York Knicks' fortunes
Madison Square Garden will play host to 36 games this season but players may experience its eerie silence for the duration of these 36 should the league continue until they let fans back into arenas. In the latest NBA News, the New York Knicks' second-year star, RJ Barrett, spoke ahead of their weekend matchup with the Sixers at The Garden.
Barrett believes that instead of hindering his side, the lack of support may in fact help them.
"Actually having no fans might be an advantage, I know if I was a competitor, coming into the Garden, with all those fans, I’d want to have a great game. So coming in there with no fans actually probably gives us an advantage that way too.’’
The New York Knicks enter their second matchup of the season off the back of a 14-point loss to the Indiana Pacers. RJ Barrett was one of the standout performers of the contest with 26 points, 8 boards, and 5 assists. Heading into Saturday night's clash, we could see the shooting guard's theory come into practice.
The Knicks have struggled for the past few seasons and have taken some heavy beatings at home. However, the franchise will be hoping that without the promise of MSG's crowd, their opposition may be limited in what they can achieve.
Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Mike D'Antoni has been mentioned in NBA News in the past about players' excitement to play in New York and the effect that has on their performance. Therefore, by this logic, the Knicks should be hopeful of an improved home court record this season.
With an alternative view of empty arenas, the current situation can also aid the New York Knicks' young roster. Hearing the boos or distinct disappointment from the stands can be detrimental to team morale.
Therefore, the players have a distinct opportunity this season to play with a level of freedom not normally experienced. New York Knicks fans can expect this to have a positive impact on their team's offensive output and will be hoping RJ Barrett can continue his fine performance from the Knicks' opening encounter.Published 27 Dec 2020, 04:12 IST