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RJ Barrett

After the NBA All-Star break, the contenders and pretenders are usually set. Locked into the second worst record in the Eastern Conference at 17-38, the New York Knicks are headed to their seventh consecutive losing season.

With a roster full of young players, the Knicks are looking to play out the string on another disappointing season. Still, there can be some positives to come out of the final 27 games.

Here are five goals the Knicks should focus on after the All-Star break.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Wayne Ellington
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When the New York Knicks lost out on top-flight free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, they pivoted to mid-tier veterans on short-term deals. The lone free agent to sign with the Knicks for a guaranteed two years was forward Julius Randle.

Randle -- who signed a three-year, $63 million deal with a partial guarantee in the final season -- was coming off of a solid year with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Knicks signed Randle to be their lead option for the season.

A capable scorer, Randle's scoring average had increased in all five of his NBA seasons prior to this one. His ability to rebound the ball, but also leading a fastbreak charge as a frontcourt player, made him an intriguing player.

Tags: Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Feb 14, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; World forward R.J. Barrett of the New York Knicks dunks during the NBA Rising Stars basketball game at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)
Feb 14, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; World forward R.J. Barrett of the New York Knicks dunks during the NBA Rising Stars basketball game at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)

Knicks rookie shooting guard RJ Barrett put on a show last Friday in the NBA Rising Stars Challenge, and he drew a rave review Wednesday from New York's interim head coach Mike Miller.

The 2019 NBA Draft's No. 3 overall pick led all scorers with 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting, adding six rebounds, five assists and three steals over 24 minutes, but Team World fell, 151-131, to Team USA at the United Center in Chicago.

Still, Barrett's individual effort impressed Miller, who believes the Duke product has a chance to parlay the performance into a strong second half as the 2019-20 season resumes with Friday's 7:30 p.m. game against the Indiana Pacers (32-23) at Madison Square Garden.

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 (Quinn Harris)
(Quinn Harris)

RJ Barrett scored a game-high 27 points in Friday's NBA Rising Stars Challenge, and said after the game he wasn't holding back just because it was an exhibition.

"I guess it's an All-Star game but I really only know how to play one way," Barrett said. "But it was a lot of fun. I didn't press too much. I just went out there and had fun. I took some opportunities when I could and tried to make some nice passes, too."

Barrett was all over the floor, adding six rebounds, five assists and three steals 'to go along with his 27 points. Though defense wasn't exactly a focal point in the 151-131 Team USA victory, Barrett wasn't going to allow his college teammate at Duke, Zion Williamson, to upstage him.

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Knicks rookie RJ Barrett made his NBA All-Star Weekend debut as a member of Team World during the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night.

Barrett led all scorers with 27 points, despite Team World losing the game 151-131 to Team USA.

He finished the game shooting 11-for-17 from the field, and added in six rebounds, five assists, and three steals in 24 minutes of action.

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Feb 8, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) during the game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Feb 8, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) during the game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

On Friday morning ahead of the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago, Knicks rookie RJ Barrett was asked who deserves to be Rookie of the Year at the end of the season.

"A lot of people deserve [Rookie of the Year], a lot of people work hard for it," Barrett said. "I don't know. It's kind of hard not to vote for myself."

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant is currently the favorite to win, while Barrett's college teammate Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans and Miami Heat guard Kendrick Nunn are in the running as well.

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Feb 9, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) dribbles against Atlanta Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter (12) during the first quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (DALE ZANINE)
Feb 9, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) dribbles against Atlanta Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter (12) during the first quarter at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports (DALE ZANINE)

The Knicks led by 15 and trailed by 16, coming back late and forcing overtime, but New York ultimately fell in two overtimes at the end of Sunday's 140-135 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1) The Knicks jumped out to a 31-20 lead after the first quarter, but gave up 41 points to the Hawks in the second quarter. They maintained a two-point lead at the half -- 63-61. Julius Randle had 20 points and 10 rebounds in the first half for the Knicks, while Hawks big man John Collins had 20 points in the half as well. The Knicks shot 54.2 percent from the field, as Reggie Bullock chipped in 13 points and Bobby Portis had 11 points.

Tags: Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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After missing nine games with a high ankle sprain, RJ Barrett returned to the Knicks' lineup on Thursday, scoring 12 points in 18 minutes off the bench.

Following the trade of leading scorer Marcus Morris, Barrett should see his role in the offense increase even more once he gets to 100 percent. The Duke product is now one of just two Knicks averaging in double-figures this season, along with Julius Randle.

On SNY's The Thread Friday, the panel discussed what the reasonable expectations for the third-overall pick should be over the final 30 games of the season, and whether or not he could be the face of the franchise in the future.

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Nov 23, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) shoots the ball during the first quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 23, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) shoots the ball during the first quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Knicks knocked off the Orlando Magic 105-103 on Thursday night, and the win was impressive for a number of reasons. 

The team erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, winning their third straight game as a result. But it was also the first game since Marcus Morris, the team's leading scorer, was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers at the trade deadline. 

After the trade became official, interim head coach Mike Miller and some of the players in the locker room addressed what Morris meant to this Knicks group.

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After missing the previous nine games due to a high ankle sprain, rookie RJ Barrett made his return to the floor on Thursday as the Knicks defeated the Magic 105-103.

It was a successful return for the Duke product, as he scored 12 points (shooting 50 percent from the floor), while adding three rebounds and three assists in 18 minutes off the bench.

Barrett was asked after the game how he felt in his first game back since January 16.

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RJ Barrett
RJ Barrett

After Knicks interim head coach Mike Miller said that rookie RJ Barrett might be getting minutes during the game against the Magic, the Knicks officially announced that Barrett is available to play.

The third overall pick was not announced as a starter, though, meaning any minutes would come off the bench.

Barrett has missed the last nine games with a sprained ankle, but said at practice Wednesday that he was aiming to be back "tomorrow."

"Tomorrow is a possibility, but nothing's for sure yet," he said

Tags: RJ Barrett, Scott Thompson
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RJ Barrett
RJ Barrett

Between ousting team president Steve Mills and constant trade deadline rumors swirling around the Knicks, it's hard to focus on the positive right now in New York. However, rookie G RJ Barrett did shed some good light on his status heading into Thursday night's game against the Magic. 

Barrett has missed the past nine games with a sprained right ankle, but he said this following practice on Wednesday:

"Tomorrow is a possibility, but nothing's for sure yet," he said. 

Tags: RJ Barrett, Scott Thompson
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Dec 28, 2019; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) advances the ball against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Dec 28, 2019; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) advances the ball against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

While there had been some uncertainty as to whether or not RJ Barrett would be able to suit up for February's Rising Stars Game during NBA All-Star weekend, there now seems to be an answer.

MSG Network's Rebecca Haarlow reported during the second quarter of the Knicks' Saturday night matchup with the Indiana Pacers that Barrett told her he will be playing in the game on Feb. 14 in Chicago.

SNY's Ian Begley had previously noted that there was a feeling that Barrett was unlikely to participate in the game as there was a thought the Knicks and Barrett would take a cautious approach. Begley did note that the timetable on these injuries is always subject to change. 

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Dec 13, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports (Sergio Estrada)
Dec 13, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports (Sergio Estrada)

New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett has been named to the World Team for the Rising Stars game during NBA All-Star weekend, the league announced Friday afternoon.

However, according to SNY's Ian Begley, the feeling at this time is that Barrett is unlikely to participate in the Rising Stars game as there is a cautious approach being taken with his ankle injury, per SNY league sources. The timetable on these injuries, of course, is always subject to change. 

Barrett injured his ankle against the Suns on Jan. 16 and has been sidelined since, as the Knicks continue to evaluate the injury.

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RJ Barrett (Bill Streicher)
RJ Barrett (Bill Streicher)

Following the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, NBA players have shown tremendous amounts of respect to the Lakers legend. Every team around the league is taking 8-second backcourt and 24-second shot clock violations in respect for Bryant's No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys. There has also been Nets G Spencer Dinwiddie and Raptors G Terrence Ross changing their No. 8 to other numbers out of respect. 

Well, Knicks rookie RJ Barrett also has a special request in honor of Bryant. 

He longer wants to be referred to as the "Maple Mamba," per The Post's Peter Botte. Being of Canadian descent, Barrett was given that nickname while playing for Duke last season, which is derived from Bryant's "Black Mamba" moniker. But there was only one real Mamba, and Barrett wants to keep it that way. 

Tags: RJ Barrett, Scott Thompson
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Dec 23, 2019; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) dribbles the ball against Washington Wizards guard Ish Smith (14) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Dec 23, 2019; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) dribbles the ball against Washington Wizards guard Ish Smith (14) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Knicks guard RJ Barrett has transitioned from crutches to a walking boot and will be re-evaluated in a week, the Knicks announced on Saturday

Barrett has missed the last four games with a sprained right ankle, last playing against the Suns on Jan. 16. SNY's Ian Begley suggests that Barrett is likely to be out longer than one more week

The rookie is averaging 14.1 points on 39.3 percent shooting, 5.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals this season.

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David Fizdale (Treated Image by SNY)
David Fizdale (Treated Image by SNY)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

On the first day of training camp, Knicks team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry told fans that they'd put together a team that New Yorkers would appreciate. 

But they shied away from making any playoff predictions. 

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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RJ Barrett (Bill Streicher)
RJ Barrett (Bill Streicher)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Dwyane Wade, one of the best shooting guards in NBA history, offers his take on Knicks rookie shooting guard RJ Barrett

"I love a kid that wants to take the challenge. RJ really wanted to be a Knick. You guys know that that's been a tough challenge for a lot of players that had the opportunity to choose to go to New York and they haven't. He took it (head) on and said I want to be a Knick. I give him a lot of respect for that," Wade said during a conference call to announce his role as an analyst on NBA on TNT Tuesday Night telecasts.

Wade is likely referring to the free agents who have spurned the Knicks over the last 10 years. Since Barrett was drafted by the team -- short of holding out and refusing to sign with the Knicks -- he didn't have much of a choice about where he played as a rookie. But in the weeks leading up to the draft, Barrett made it clear that he wanted to be a Knick. 

Tags: RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks have dropped eight of their last nine. They're on pace to lose more than 50 games for the sixth straight season. There's uncertainty around the future of the front office and head coach. The young players from last season's team, by and large, haven't taken big steps forward this season. 

So, no, there isn't much reason for the Knick fan to be optimistic at the moment 

Tags: RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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RJ Barrett suffered a right ankle sprain in the Knicks loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

The rookie will be reevaluated in a week, but interim head coach Mike Miller believes Barrett will bounce back quickly from the injury,

"That's what I found out last night, that he's never really had a high ankle sprain like that," said Miller. "He'll bounce back quick."

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Dec 28, 2019; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) advances the ball against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Dec 28, 2019; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) advances the ball against the Washington Wizards during the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

RJ Barrett's X-rays came back negative on his sprained ankle and he will be reevaluated next week, the Knicks announced Friday afternoon.

Barrett injured his ankle late in the third quarter of Thursday's loss to the Suns, after taking a bad step off his right foot while driving to the basket. 

The rookie exited the game after the next possession and left Madison Square Garden with the help of crutches.

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The Bucks handled things from start to finish Tuesday night in Milwaukee, sending the Knicks back to New York with a 128-102 loss. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1) The Bucks came out hot and all but ended the game in the first few minutes of action, going up 18-4 less than half way through the first quarter. Despite the Knicks coming back to make it 29-23 after 12 minutes, the Bucks went on a 36-17 to take a 25-point lead at halftime. Milwaukee got out to as large as a 35-point lead Tuesday night. New York's offense struggled without its leading scorer in Marcus Morris, who missed his fifth straight game due to a neck injury.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kadeem Allen, RJ Barrett
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Aside from spoiling Carmelo Anthony's return to MSG on New Year's Day with a win over the Blazers, 2020 hadn't been kind to the Knicks, who were riding a five-game losing streaking heading into Sunday's matchup with the Heat.

Miami came into the game as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, and the Knicks were without their leading scorer in Marcus Morris, so it wouldn't have been all that surprising if the Heat left New York with another win under their belt.

Instead, the Knicks took a 10-point deficit into the fourth quarter and dropped 40 on the Heat, holding on down the stretch in a tight final minute to stun Miami.

Tags: Kadeem Allen, RJ Barrett
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The Knicks outscored the Heat by 13 down the stretch in what became a nail-biting thriller in the final minutes and went on to win 124-121 at MSG on Sunday. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1) The Knicks entered the fourth quarter down by 13 points despite the game having a closer feel than that throughout. But New York put up 40 points on Miami in the final 12 minutes to come back and beat one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. Jimmy Butler's mishandled pass to Bam Adebayo, that was stolen by RJ Barrett, all but sealed the win for the Knicks.

Adebayo got a three-pointer up with 0.5 seconds left that connected, but the shot came after the buzzer and was waved off, handing the Knicks arguably their biggest win of the season.

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Jan 10, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New Orleans Pelicans small forward Brandon Ingram (14) drives to the basket against New York Knicks power forward Bobby Portis (1) and shooting guard RJ Barrett (9) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 10, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New Orleans Pelicans small forward Brandon Ingram (14) drives to the basket against New York Knicks power forward Bobby Portis (1) and shooting guard RJ Barrett (9) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks dropped their fifth straight game on Friday, falling to the New Orleans Pelicans 123-111 at Madison Square Garden. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Friday's game

1) Taj Gibson led the Knicks with 10 points in the first quarter on 5-for-5 shooting, while Mitchell Robinson brought energy off the bench and scored six points on three powerful dunks. However, the Pelicans led the Knicks 33-31 after the first quarter thanks to 10 points from Brandon Ingram and seven points from rookie Jaxson Hayes off the bench.

Tags: Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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 (Russell Isabella)
(Russell Isabella)

The Knicks dropped their fourth straight game on Wednesday, falling to the Utah Jazz 128-104 in Salt Lake City. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Wednesday's game

1) The Knicks' starting lineup had a different look on Wednesday. With both Julius Randle (personal reasons) and Marcus Morris (sore neck) not playing, Reggie Bullock and Bobby Portis were insterted into the starting five. The new group didn't get off to the best start, as the Jazz jumped out to a nine-point lead with four and a half minutes left in the first quarter. Utah maintained a 10-point lead after one, but they continued to shoot the lights out in the second quarter, finishing with a 65 percent clip as a team from the floor and a 72-53 lead at the break.

The Jazz controlled the second half, and while the Knicks' second unit made a late run in the fourth quarter, this game was all Utah, as the Knicks dropped their fourth straight game.

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett
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RJ Barrett/Dwight Howard
RJ Barrett/Dwight Howard

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

One of the few positives from the Knicks' 30-point loss to the Lakers? RJ Barrett.

After picking up two early fouls, the Knicks rookie showed strong composure in finishing the game with 19 points (9-for-19 shooting) and five rebounds in 31 minutes. And on top of that performance, it was Barrett's first game against LeBron James. 

"It was definitely cool. He was always my favorite player growing up. So that was good. Once I got in the game, it's just a regular game. Just got to play," Barrett said. 

Tags: RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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The Knicks played uninspired basketball for most of the night, falling to the Los Angeles Lakers 117-87 on Tuesday. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Tuesday's game

1) Neither team played their best game on Tuesday, but the Knicks' sloppy play eventually caught up to them. After the first 12 minutes, the Knicks trailed by just five points, but by halftime the Lakers had pushed their lead up to 62-45. The Knicks shot just 36 percent as a team in the first half of play. In the second half, the Knicks continued to play without any rhythm, and trailed by 15 points after three. In the fourth quarter, the Lakers ran away with the game. LeBron James took on most of the scoring for LA, finishing with 31 points, five rebounds, and five assists. The Knicks turned the ball over 17 times in defeat, while recording just 15 assists.

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Jan 5, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) is fouled by Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) as he drives to the basket in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 5, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) is fouled by Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) as he drives to the basket in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Like any NBA rookie, RJ Barrett has struggled.

While averaging 13.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists, Barrett entered Sunday's road game against the Los Angeles Clippers shooting 38.3 percent from the field, 31.1 percent on three-point attempts and 55.4 percent at the free-throw line.

Barrett left the Knicks' hard-fought 135-132 loss to the Clippers with a bounce-back performance, dropping 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting and a 9-for-11 mark from the charity stripe, coming after a timely sitdown.

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The Knicks fell to the Clippers 135-132 in a high scoring battle on Sunday afternoon. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1) The Knicks got off to a hot start, scoring 45 points in the first quarter -- tying the franchise record for points in an opening quarter. RJ Barrett led the team with 10 points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting, including one three pointer. Julius Randle and Marcus Morris each chipped in seven points, while Bobby Portis had six points off the bench in two minutes of action.

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Mark Edwards is a life-long Knicks fan. So he knows how desperate the fanbase is for a winner. 

Edwards is also a long-time basketball trainer. In his 26-year career, Edwards has trained dozens of pros, including Terrence Ross and Mike Scott, as well as hundreds of college players. 

This summer, he worked with Knicks' second-year wing Kevin Knox, and Edwards has a message for Knicks fans keeping an eye on Knox: be patient. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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The Knicks are playing better -- and with more accountability -- since the team held a players-only meeting prior to David Fizdale's firing.

Recently, improving defensively has been a focal point of interim head coach Mike Miller, and the results bear that out. In back-to-back wins over the Nets and Wizards, the Knicks held their opponent to under 35 percent shooting for the game.

"I think we have sustained these possessions where maybe we would have a segment of three or four good ones," Miller said. "I think we're getting now where it's five, six, seven good ones, and we're able to impact the game a little bit more. I thought we defended really well at the beginning of the Brooklyn game, and in stretches, we put together really good possessions. And I think it takes some of the pressure off our offense. When it does that, we can get into a possession game and be able to make stops."

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks on Thursday must've looked a lot like the team management envisioned when they built the roster in July. 

Julius Randle (33 points on 14-for-26 shooting, 8 rebounds) dominated on offense. The ball moved well, thanks in part to Elfrid Payton (13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists). Marcus Morris complemented Randle (22 points, 8 rebounds) and the Knicks limited Brooklyn to an NBA season-low 27 percent shooting.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Frank Ntilikina
Frank Ntilikina

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

With the trade deadline a few weeks away, we've been asking teams about the trade value of some of the Knicks. Here's what three teams had to say about Marcus Morris. We also asked a few teams about Frank Ntilikina's value:

"They drafted him at eight (Ntilikina was the eighth overall pick in 2017) and they're obviously not going to get back a top-10 pick for him," one team said. "But he still has value. A lot of people value him around the league because he's still young (21) and he plays defense. His shot isn't there, but there's reason to think he can improve. Getting a second round pick for him, that's not even a question. I'm not sure about a first, maybe a late first. You can't rule it out. Crazier things have happened in this league."

The Knicks seemed committed to moving Ntilikina before the 2019 NBA Draft. But they couldn't find a deal that they liked. There's no indication at the moment that they're as eager to move him now as they were in June.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Marcus Morris has played for seven coaches in the NBA, so he's well equipped to comment on the coaching profession. And, so far, he likes what he's seen from Mike Miller

"You've got to give Mike credit," Morris said. "It's unfortunate that Fiz got released but Mike's come in, being able to have a team that was kind of wounded and being able to kind of pull it together and get us going in the right direction, that's tough for any coach. He's dealing with it very well."

The Knicks are 3-3 under Miller, while winning just four of 22 games under David Fizdale. Based on that alone, it's clear that New York has improved under their interim head coach. And the players seem to have bought in.  

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Trade season started, unofficially, on Sunday. That was the first day most free agents who signed over the summer were eligible to be moved. The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 6, so there's plenty of time for teams to discuss potential deals.

It will be interesting to see how the Knicks approach the trade season, as the seven veterans they signed over the summer are now eligible to be moved. At 7-21, New York could be willing to trade some of those veterans to acquire future assets, and give younger players more minutes/chances to develop.

But, as noted earlier this month, it's unclear if they'll take that approach. Instead, they may look for ways to improve the roster in the short-term.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The Knicks put together not just their best game this season, but one of their best performances in recent memory, in what was a full-team effort during their 143-120 win over the Hawks on Tuesday night.

Six Knicks scored in double figures Tuesday, and every Knick that touched the floor managed to score, as they showed what this team could look like if they put together united efforts like this one on a consistent basis.

"A hundred percent," Dennis Smith Jr. said after the game when asked if the vibe of the team was to go have fun out there on the floor Tuesday night. "We put up 140 and it was like spread across, you know everybody got touches and everybody got shots so we want to try and put out that effort every night."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Th Knicks (7-21) came to play right out of the gate after returning from their west coast trip, as they absolutely dismantled the Hawks (6-22) 143-120 in what was Vince Carter's final game at Madison Square Garden >> Box Score

Five things to know from Tuesday's game

1) The Knicks were happy to return to the Garden on Tuesday night and they showed it, scoring a season-high 41 points in the first quarter, by far their best 12 minutes of the year that included a 13-0 run to end the quarter.

New York continued its dominance into the second and third quarters, extending that run to 21-0 and scoring 77 points in the first half alone. At 81-53 in the third, the Knicks took their largest lead in a game this season and extended it to 84-53 to take a 31-point lead at a point.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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 (Raj Mehta)
(Raj Mehta)

As the Knicks look to make moves in advance of the Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline, it appears that their only untouchables might be rookie RJ Barrett and second-year sensation Mitchell Robinson.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that it's "certainly plausible" the Clippers could look to deal for Marcus Morris, and it was reported late Monday that the Knicks could also make Julius Randle available.

Specifically, an NBA source told Newsday's Steve Popper that it is "believed" New York would be open to trading Randle.

Tags: Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Wayne Ellington, Danny Abriano
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Dec 15, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) dribbles the ball up court as New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) guards in the first quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sportss (Isaiah J. Downing)
Dec 15, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) dribbles the ball up court as New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) guards in the first quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sportss (Isaiah J. Downing)

After the Knicks consecutive wins over the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings, New York fell short of three straight Sunday, falling 111-105 to the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center in Denver and ultimately splitting the past week's four-game road trip. >> Box Score

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Dec 11, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) drives against Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall (7) during the first quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports  (Stan Szeto)
Dec 11, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) drives against Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall (7) during the first quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

The Knicks snapped a 10-game losing streak by holding on for a 124-122 overtime win over the Warriors. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Wednesday's game

1) The Knicks came out of the gates strong against the Warriors, who are without superstars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. New York jumped out to a 10-point lead after one, and they pushed their lead up to 18 points at the half. Early in the third, the Knicks led by as many as 22 points, but the Warriors' defense helped them get back in the game, cutting the Knicks lead to five points in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and then tied the game at 89-89 with eight and a half minutes to play.

With the game tied 103-103 with two minutes to go, Marcus Morris came up clutch, knocking down free throws to give the Knicks the lead, followed by a jumper to extend the lead. Thanks mainly to Morris, the Knicks were up by three in the final seconds, but D'Angelo Russell knocked down a three to send the game to overtime. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett
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 (Jaime Valdez)
(Jaime Valdez)

The Knicks learned that any time is Dame Time, as the point guard went off in Portland to lead the Blazers to a blowout 115-87 win. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Tuesday's game

1) New York did a good job of keeping last week's Western Conference Player of the Week Carmelo Anthony at bay on Tuesday night. The former Knick finished with 16 points amid struggling with his shot -- Anthony went 5-13 from the field. 

But the Knicks forgot that Portland was Damian Lillard's town, and the star point guard made sure they knew it. The four-time All-Star was electric from beyond the arc, hitting 8 of 12 three-point shots and overall shooting 60 percent from the field to finish with 31 points in the win. Lillard still managed to dish out six assists in between lighting it up from three-point range.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Marcus Morris called a players' only meeting on Friday before practice, and hours before David Fizdale was fired.

"I just called that meeting so we can, as players, talk it out and decide which direction we're trying to go in. At the end of the day, guys stood up, guys said their piece. I think it was a great meeting," he said Saturday.

Added Julius Randle: "It was what we needed. Nobody's going to turn this around for us except us. We just have to keep doing what we were doing (Saturday) and we're going to win." 

Tags: RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Before and after their game Saturday night against the Pacers, Knicks players spoke to the media and reacted to the firing of David Fizdale on Friday afternoon.

Here's what a few of them had to say:

RJ BARRETT

"I appreciate everything coach Fizdale and coach (Keith) Smart have done for me. They were the first ones to give me a chance in the league so I appreciate them. I spoke to coach Fizdale. Wished me the best.''

Barrett added that he spoke with management after the firing, but kept the details to himself: "Oh that's private. I can't talk about what management told me."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., RJ Barrett
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Dec 1, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale reacts after a turnover against the Boston Celtics during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 1, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale reacts after a turnover against the Boston Celtics during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

We are at about the quarter-way point of the NBA season and the Knicks find themselves with the second worst record in the league and at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

At 4-17, the Knicks have fallen to new lows and are on pace to break the record they tied last season for the worst season in team history. 

Head coach David Fizdale has been in an extremely hot seat ever since Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry held a rare press conference after the team started the season 2-8. 

Since then, the Knicks have gone 2-9.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Oct 30, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA;New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Oct 30, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA;New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

RJ Barrett certainly wasn't alone as Knicks who didn't have their best performance on Monday, as the team was handed a 44-point drubbing at the hands of Milwaukee.

But Barrett's game may have been the worst of his 20-game NBA career. The rookie did not hit a field goal, going 0-for-9 from the field, and his two free throws were the only points he scored in the contest, the fewest he's put up in a game this season. He played just shy of 20 minutes, also a career low.

But Barrett knows if he's going to progress in his rookie season, he has to put peformances like this behind him.

 

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The Knicks played their best defensive first half all season, but fell apart in the second half, losing 101-95 to the 76ers on Friday night. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Friday's game

1) The Knicks got out to a 31-18 lead in the first quarter, as the team went 5-for-8 from three point land. It was the first time all season that they gave up less than 20 points in the first quarter. Rookie RJ Barrett led the way, scoring 10 points after playing all 12 minutes.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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RJ Barrett's Toronto homecoming didn't go the way he may have hoped, as the Knicks fell to the Raptors 126-98 on Wednesday, but there's plenty the rookie can learn from his return to his hometown.

As a team, the Knicks played consistent, team basketball in the first quarter, leading by as many as 10 points and taking a 29-21 lead into the first quarter break. 

But the Raptors answered back, as reigning NBA Champions tend to do, outscoring the Knicks 105-69 over the final three quarters, led by 31 points from Pascal Siakam.

Tags: RJ Barrett
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The Knicks held the lead after one quarter, but Toronto dominated the rest of the way en route to a 126-98 victory on Wednesday night. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Wednesday's game

1) RJ Barrett took the court in his hometown of Toronto for the first time as an NBA player, showing some love for his hometown with his footwear. The rookie did not have a very efficient night from the floor, shooting just 5-of-17 from the floor overall, but he chipped in with 16 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, RJ Barrett
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Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) reacts after making a basket during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) reacts after making a basket during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Hours before Wednesday's 7:30 p.m. game against the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Knicks shooting guard RJ Barrett revealed during shootaround that he plans to play for Team Canada over the summer after his rookie season wraps up.

Barrett's head coach, David Fizdale, fully supports the move as Barrett aims to help Team Canada's pursuit for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

"I love it," Fizdale said, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. "I think those experiences really help those guys. It gives them an opportunity to see how other very good basketball players work and you're playing against the best in the world."

Tags: RJ Barrett
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