Featuring a wrap around his wounded finger, Barrett finished Wednesday’s 119-113 victory over the red-hot Indiana Pacers with 27 points, eight rebounds, and four assists while shooting 9-23 from the field and 4-12 from outside the arc.
It obviously was not the prettiest of games from an efficiency standpoint, but given that it was his first game in over two weeks, it was certainly a solid performance that the Knicks will take.
Barrett started off the game red hot, hitting two three-pointers in the opening minutes and scoring 16 of his 27 points in the first half, helping the Knicks jump out to a 21-point lead entering the half.
Barrett cooled off in the second half despite scoring 11 points, as he shot just 3-11 from the field and 1-7 from deep after the break. The Pacers would end up storming back to cut their deficit to just 2 before clutch buckets from Jalen Brunson and Quentin Grimes spared New York from suffering yet another embarrassing loss.
Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau spoke to reporters postgame about how he thought Barrett played in his return to action on Wednesday. When asked about his overall performance, Thibodeau said it was “good” and also took into consideration that Barrett is still in the process of getting his rhythm back.
“I knew there would be some rust. But, overall [Barrett] did a good job.”Tom Thibodeau on RJ Barrett via MSG Network
Thibodeau was evidently confident in Barrett’s readiness on Wednesday, as he played approximately 41 minutes in the victory. Barrett himself had said that he felt good enough to play tonight.
When asked after the game if he could have played more minutes, Barrett laughed and gave a confident “yeah,” showing that he was eager to get out on the court and get lots of burn.
Barrett’s performance on Wednesday is an encouraging sign that he did not miss a beat from the stretch he was on prior to his injury. In his last 11 games, Barrett is averaging 23.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 47% from the field and 43.5% from three-point range.
Everything is clicking on all cylinders for Barrett right now, and he is hoping to continue that trend when the Knicks take on the Wizards on the road in Washington.
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