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  1. #31
    12th man mafra's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    His name is RJ:

    “RJ Barrett’s night got off to a rough start against the Washington Wizards on Thursday, as he made he made just two of his first nine shots and struggled around the rim as the Knicks fell into an early hole.

    But the second-year pro who has seemed mature beyond his age from the second he enter the league didn’t just hang his head and sulk.

    Instead, Barrett did everything the Knicks needed to climb back into the game, coming back from down 17 points in the second half for an improbable 106-102 win over the Wizards.

    “I think we knew that they were going to come out really aggressive,” Barrett said afterwards. “We didn’t do a good job in the first half of kind of containing them, and we weren’t making shots and it was leading to them scoring, but much better job in the second half.”

    Barrett had an off night shooting, as he finished just 7-of-22 from the floor, but he came up huge when it mattered the most, scoring 19 of his 24 points in the second half, including a nine-point fourth quarter. He also added 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals to lead the charge during his nearly 42 minutes of playing time.

    “I was trying. I was trying to get the team pumped up, myself pumped up,” Barrett said. “We had to fight. You know, I knew we could get that win. We all believed it and I’m very glad that we went out an got this one.”

    The Duke product continues to impress during his second pro season after being snubbed from the league’s All-Rookie teams last year, and his effort hasn’t gone unnoticed by his coaches and teammates.

    “I love the way he’s worked all year, and you can see his confidence growing. He’s learning every day,” said Tom Thibodeau. “He’s doing a lot of great things for the team, and I think the floor game has really expanded. He’s starting to make plays, he’s seeing the game, finishing a lot better, but his all-around play and just the way he was able to sick to it and just keep going. We got great leadership from him … but RJ’s really coming along and he’s doing a terrific job for us.”

    “Just his steadiness throughout the course of the game. Shots weren’t falling, but just his mental toughness to stay with it and make big plays down the stretch,” added Julius Randle. “He made tremendously big plays down the stretch. That just says a lot about his growth and development. He didn’t have to try to force anything throughout the course of the game. It’s a miss-or-make league. Sometimes shots won’t fall, but you’ve got to stay confident, and that’s what he did.

    “For RJ to step up was huge.”

  2. #32
    Knows the team
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    May 2007
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    The trio of Payton RJ and Randle performance on both sides of the court in the first 3 quarters of the game said the Wizards were gonna win the game having a 15 pt lead. When Thibs substitute in the final minute of the 3rd quarter down by 17 pts to put an experience Taj Gibson, a perimeter shooter Burks, and 2 rookies Quickley/Toppin the entire Knicks offense/defense did a 360 change for the better to have the Knicks go on a 13-0 run. Making RJ the first option on offense worked well when Gibson & Toppin kept screening for RJ to be defended by a non-defensive playing Beal. The Wiz 4th qtr. defense got exploited trying to lock down Burks and Quickley scoring that didnt help.
    In the 4th qtr. the Knicks did not need Randle on the court to win, rookie Obi Toppin hustle performance on both sides of the court showed he was getting his confidence back as a winner.

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