After coming off the bench in his first game back for the New York Knicks, RJ Barrett is expected to rejoin the starting lineup on Saturday.
The rookie has started in every game aside from one this season, but interim head coach Mike Miller wanted to bring him back slowly after a right ankle sprain sidelined Barrett for nine games.
“We gave RJ a chance to move in the game,” Miller told reporters after Thursday’s thrilling win over the Orlando Magic. “He hasn’t had a lot of practice days. We felt like the matchup with [Evan] Fournier and Frank [Ntilikina] would be a good matchup.”
Barrett only played 18 minutes, but he looked spry in his limited action. The rookie scored 12 points on 3-for-6 shooting to go along with three rebounds and three assists.
“Sore, but fighting through it,” Barrett said of how he felt after his first action since Jan. 16. “It was great to be back out there with my teammates. I just had a lot of fun out there. … Our mantra for this week is, fun, have fun with it and that’s what I did. My teammates were great, and we got a good win.”
Barrett and the Knicks are looking for their fourth-straight win, a feat they have yet to accomplish this season. In fact, New York has not won four games in a row since Dec. 16, 2017, when Jeff Hornacek was head coach.