RJ Barrett’s offensive performances this season mirror the overall success of the New York Knicks. Barrett’s roller-coaster ride offensively had gone from highs when he scored a dominant 35 points in front of his old college teammate, Zion Williamson, on the road against New Orleans to lows like being criticized by Coach Tom Thibodeau during his shooting slump.
On Tuesday night against the Indiana Pacers, Barrett was back on top of his game, finishing with 32 points and eight rebounds in New York’s 104-94 win at home. His 30+ point performance broke the franchise record for the most career 30 points games by a Knick 21-years-old and under previously held by former Knicks lottery pick Kristaps Porzingis.
RJ Barrett got his 4th career 30-point game.
That is the most by any Knicks player at age 21 or younger in franchise history, breaking a tie with Kristaps Porzingis. pic.twitter.com/NKTIKpeuDg
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 5, 2022
Barret’s exploits earned him praise from Knicks fans within Madison Square Garden. Per the New York Post, Barrett enjoyed the chants stating that hearing fans chanting your name is fun. As for his performance, Barret was just as simple with his analysis stating his high-point total was thanks to his aggressiveness.
“I was just trying to be aggressive,” Barrett said. “When you get in the paint, you either finish or kick out if the defense collapses.”
Barrett started the game on fire, scoring career highs in one quarter (19) and a half (24) to keep the Knicks close at halftime. His performance was impressive to Tom Thibodeau via the New York Post. His spurt powered a 16-0 run to give New York an early lead.
“The big thing is for RJ; it was incredible for him to start the game,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “With both guys, it’s them attacking the rim. The game will tell you what to do. If we settle for shots, it’s going to cause problems. If we’re attacking the rim, it makes us different.”
🗣 “RJ BARRETT ERUPTING IN HERE IN THE FIRST QUARTER.”
He’s got 17 points and counting. pic.twitter.com/ROGXfIuOCr
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 5, 2022
Over the last three games, Barrett’s play is starting to trend upward with averages of 25.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists. The third-year forward has a chance to continue his hot scoring streak Thursday against the Boston Celtics.