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YouTube Gold: RJ Barrett And The Knicks Have A Big Night

And are over .500

Washington Wizards v New York Knicks
 NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 25: (EDITORS NOTE: this image has been converted to black and white) RJ Barrett #9 of the New York Knicks points to the fans after winning the game against the Washington Wizards on March 25, 2021 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. 
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

RJ Barrett took a certain amount of criticism his rookie year, which is pretty normal really. Most rookies do.

Rookies in New York tend to get a little more than most places though and the fact that Barrett was, at least initially, going to be compared to his Duke teammate Zion Williamson may have led people to overlook what a solid player he is.

Against Washington on Thursday night, the Knicks mounted a 17 point comeback to win and to move to 23-22.

Barrett finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals. He didn’t shoot as well as he might have - just 7-22 - but he was singled out for praise by Knicks coach Tom Thibodeaux after the game.

The Knicks now have a solid young core to build around with Barrett, Julius Randle, Immanuel Quickley and Mitchell Robinson, are in fifth place in the East and have a serious shot at the playoffs.

It’s as much optimism as the Knicks have seen in a very long time.