Knicks’ RJ Barrett has bounce back performance but fall short against Nets

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Jan 11, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) dribbles up court during the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett had a bounce-back performance on Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets after having a pair mediocre overall performances in his last couple of games.

Barrett scored 24 points, snagged six rebounds, dished two assists, and recorded one block despite losing to the Nets 122-115 on Saturday. He also shot 9-16 from the field and 3-5 from deep on Saturday, seeming to start right from where he left off after hitting a clutch three in their overtime win against the Boston Celtics on Thursday.

His efficient shooting was, indeed, the story of the night.

Knicks’ RJ Barrett bounced back nicely:

Despite hitting the clutch bucket this past Thursday, he shot just 6-18 in the game overall and entered Saturday shooting just 11-30 from the field in his last two games.

Saturday’s performance was a much more efficient one for Barrett despite the loss, with his 56.3% field goal percentage being his personal best since Jan. 20 against the Atlanta Hawks. His efficient bounce-back performance is an encouraging sign that he will regain his consistency on the offensive end. Certainly, he was likely playing this game with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

Since Barrett returned from injury, he has been trying to get his rhythm back and once again become a major contributor to this Knicks team.

With this performance on Saturday, combined with the clutch deep-range shot on Thursday, there is cautious optimism to be had that Barrett is slowly but surely returning to the stellar player he was prior to his finger injury. This would ultimately give the Knicks the best version of their new trio, as Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle are playing the best basketball of their young careers right now.

This could not come at a better time for New York, as they have the second hardest schedule for their remaining 31 games this season, with their opponents currently possessing a combined .523 win percentage on this season.

Therefore, if the Knicks would like to get themselves into playoff position, they will need their each of their big three to play at their highest potential to help snatch victories from powerhouse opponents.

Barrett will look to continue his efficient scoring when the Knicks head back home on Tuesday to take on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden.

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