RJ Barrett a silver lining in Knicks' loss to Pacers on Wednesday

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Ryan Morik
·2 min read
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RJ Barrett driving against Pacers
RJ Barrett driving against Pacers

In the first half of the Knicks' season opener, it looked like second-year shooting guard RJ Barrett was in for a career-night.

Barrett dropped 20 points in the first half - his first 20-point half of his career. But he, and the Knicks, were slowed down offensively in the second half, scoring just 41 points in the final 24 minutes.

Barrett said the Indiana Pacers came out of the locker room a lot more aggressively not just on him, but on the whole team.

"I think they played harder in the second half. I think we had a really good first half overall. They just came out even more aggressive in the second," Barrett said.

Barrett was 8-for-8 from the field in the first half, but 3-for-7 in the second.

"Any time you have a big first half like you did, you're gonna get more attention," head coach Tom Thibodeau said regarding Barrett's hot start. "And when that happens, your responsibility is to make plays. And then we got a little out of rhythm. We'll take a look at that, and w'ell figure out some other things. Hopefully we can ride the hot hand."

"I was just trying to play basketball," Barrett said. "Just trying to make the right plays. That's kind of what I'm stressing all season long, what our team is stressing all season long, is just to make the right plays every time down the court."

Barrett averaged 14.3 points per game last season, shooting just a tick over 40 percent from the field. He finished Wednesday's game with 26 points, a team-high. He'll look to stay hot against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Garden on Saturday.

A team still lacking serious point guard play, and other legitimate scorers still to be seen, Barrett is going to have to improve his scoring ability (it doesn't have to be 26 a night) for this team to contend for a playoff spot.

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