Knicks’ ‘Mid 3’ in full force against Pelicans

knicks, julius randle
Feb 25, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) looks to post up against New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Richardson (2) in the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are rolling, capping off their fifth consecutive victory in a wire-to-wire 128-106 stomping of the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.

The story of the game was the revival of the Knicks’ star trio, or as Knicks Twitter likes to refer to it, the “Mid 3.”

On the night the Knicks were celebrating their 50th anniversary of their 1973 championship, Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, and RJ Barrett combined for 73 points, and they also combined for 17 assists and 12 three-pointers made in the victory.

The resurgence of Barrett came at a really good time for the Knicks, as they now have the team at full strength for the final stretch run as they look to head back to the playoffs.

Brunson, Randle, and Barrett were phenomenal from start to finish:

The Knicks’ trio was phenomenal right out of the gate Saturday, as its star Julius Randle continued his stretch of red-hot first quarters with a 16-point masterclass that included four made threes in the opening period and 19 for the first half.

Randle would finish the game with 28/7/5 on 11-20 shooting and 5-10 from outside the arc. Another star-studded performance that only strengthened Randle’s All-NBA case.

After having an off-shooting night against the Wizards, Jalen Brunson scored a quick eight points in the opening period en route to a 20-point, five-assist performance.

While Brunson’s efficiency was still down, as he shot just 5-13 from the field, it is an encouraging sign to see him eclipse the 20-point mark after struggling mightily to get shots to fall against the Wizards on Friday.

The past few weeks have not been kind to RJ Barrett, but he finally snapped out of his prolonged slump with a 25-point performance that included a season-high seven assists as well as four made threes Saturday.

First halves are usually the points in the game Barrett struggles the most, but on Saturday, that was not the case. In the first half, Barrett had a 13/2/5 line and shot 4-7 from the field and 2-4 from outside the arc.

Nobody needed a big game more than Barrett, and it is more than a welcome sign that he has regained his on-court confidence and demeanor.

If Barrett continues to play this way, the Knicks could develop into a juggernaut squad that will be far from an easy out in the playoffs.

The win on Saturday created more breathing room between them and the Miami Heat for some possession of the sixth seed in the East, as the Heat suffered yet another bad loss – this time at the hands of the lousy Charlotte Hornets – to fall another game back of the Knicks.

Barrett and the Knicks will look to keep rolling when they take on the Boston Celtics on Monday at Madison Square Garden.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @DylanBacker_

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