While New York Knicks veteran free agent signing Bobby Portis lit up Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls, fluttering a trio of tres late in the fourth quarter to seal the win, rookie RJ Barrett also impressed.
Portis finished with 28 points on 10-14 shooting from the field and 4-4 from beyond the arch. His stellar performance fueled the Knicks to their first win of the season and a glorious one as they trailed by 18-points in the first quarter. The Knicks have started slow most games and fought their way back to blow it once more in the end, but that narrative changed on Monday, and they can now put the first one of the year behind them.
However, Barrett, who has been exciting over the first three games, continued his streak in game four of the regular season. His 13 points on 7-15 shooting from the field helped New York overcome a feisty Bulls team led by Chicago, but the exciting thing was how he orchestrated the team.
With veteran point guard Elfrid Payton leaving the game with a sore hamstring, Barrett took over as PG on offense and ran the team with confidence and poise. His five total assists and 15 rebounds saw him finish with a double-double. The Duke product has been nothing but impressive thus far in the season, and he could play a significant part in luring superstar free agents to the Knicks in the future.
Maybe, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving made a mistake after all. Barrett’s development will be the focus during the 2019-20 season, but the veterans already seem to mesh. Julius Randle and Marcus Morris seem to be building chemistry and increasing their shot selections.
The New York Knicks saw a significant positive against Chicago:
Four of the five Knicks starters earned double-digit point totals, which shows head coach David Fizdale is finally learning what combination of players works best. The only player that fell shy was Payton, who left in the second half. Portis, who played the most out of any bench player, earned the highest grade on the team with a +/- of +31.