The New York Knicks impressively dismantled the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday evening by a score of 108–85.
Third-year guard RJ Barrett has had his fair share of inconsistencies this season, experiencing ebbs and flows with his offensive production.
Earlier in the year, Barrett claimed he had his eyes set on making the All-NBA team for his premium defense, but it’s been his offense that has led the Knicks to four wins in their last five games, including a 32-point performance against Dallas on Wednesday.
Looking back at the beginning of the year, Barrett started the season sluggishly, recording over 12 points just once in the first four games of the year. He proceeded to go on an exciting streak, scoring a low of 20 points over the next five games with a high of 35 against New Orleans on October 30.
However, Barrett would end up dealing with a myriad of issues, ranging from a positive Covid test to a lack of confidence. In the month of January to start the new year, Barrett is averaging 22.8 points per game, shooting 48.1% from three-point range and contributing 4.8 rebounds. In other words, he’s back!
The Duke product has led the way for New York as Julius Randle has come under fire due to offensive struggles this season. RJ saw this as an opportunity to become the Knicks’ top offensive option, and he has done just that over the last five games, recording 30+ points in three of them.
In fact, against Dallas, Barrett set a franchise record as the youngest player to record consecutive games with at least 30 points. Kristaps Porzingis was the last Knick to achieve the feat, but Barrett pushed past at just 21 years old.
RJ Barrett is the youngest player in franchise history to record consecutive games with at least 30 points. Kristaps Porzingis had held the record.
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) January 13, 2022
Defensively on Wednesday, Barrett held opposing shooters to 3 of 11 from the field and Dallas star guard Luka Doncic to just 2 of 8.
In classic fashion after the game, Thibodeau restrained himself from excitement, indicating that his team can’t let the win overwhelm them. Nevertheless, he was ecstatic about RJ’s performance, referencing his preparation as a catalyst for his recent success.
“He’s putting a lot of extra work in right now. He’s coming back at night and I think that’s a big factor.”
“I think we’re gonna find success if we continue to do the little things.”