The New York Knicks ended their summer slate on a positive note, as their draft picks, especially RJ Barrett, took center stage in a consolation win over Washington.
The New York Knicks didn’t hit the jackpot in their recent Las Vegas excursion but earned a nice parting gift upon their departure on Saturday.
RJ Barrett put up 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to guide the Knicks’ Summer League squad to a 103-87 win in a consolation game against the Washington Wizards. Fellow draftee Ignas Brazdeikis complimented with 19 points.
Barrett, the third overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, finishes his Las Vegas session with averages of 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds (tied for ninth among all competitors), and 4.2 assists.
He struggled at the onset of the competition. His notorious debut of 4-of-18 shooting a July 5 debut against New Orleans was heavily scrutinized, as was a 3-of-15 performance two nights later against Phoenix.
His final Vegas show ended with 7-of-13 shooting as the Knicks pulled away from the Wizards in the fourth quarter. New York outscored Washington 33-15 to create the final margin. Tyler Cavanaugh (19 points), Mitchell Robinson (18), and Kevin Knox (15) all likewise added double-figures to the Knicks’ scoring tally.
From hesitant and overthinking everything to aggressive and free-flowing, RJ @RjBarrett6 is officially here to play. #Knicks
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) July 14, 2019
Rumors had circulated that Barrett would not play in the Knicks’ summer finale, but he told NBA TV he wouldn’t allow it.
“I love to play basketball. If I have an opportunity to play, why would I sit out?” he said. “I felt I read the game well.”
“We’ll keep building with him,’’ said Knicks summer-league coach Jud Buechler, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. “He learned from this summer league. He’ll watch film between now and training camp. He’ll have a much better idea (of) what he needs to improve on.’’