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Nets 113, Knicks 109: Scenes from RJ Barrett’s introduction to Knicks’ heartbreak

Quite the punch to the gut.

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Welcome to the Knicks, RJ Barrett. The rookie guard played his heart out down the stretch as the ‘Bockers turned a double-digit fourth quarter deficit into a three-point lead with 3:41 remaining. If you’ve followed this team for a while, you can probably guess what happened next.

Sprinkle in two last-minute fadeaway daggers from Kyrie Irving, and you’ve got your story.

Julius Randle and Marcus Morris, the veteran “dogs” who were brought here supposedly to help in these situations, shat all over themselves in crunch time, as they did pretty much throughout the evening. Wayne Ellington hit some big threes down the stretch, but traveled on a key possession late. (There were soooo many turnovers, on both ends.)

Kevin Knox had quite an evening, scoring 16 points on 5-8 shooting, including 4-4 from downtown. Naturally, he didn’t get a shot over the final eight minutes.

But the night truly belonged to RJ. Pressed into point guard duty in the second half, he held his own against Kyrie despite being a 19-year-old playing out of position.

I would have liked to see RJ get the chance to create a bit on the game-deciding possession, but the Knicks instead decided to let Randle isolate and dribble the ball off his own leg. Very Knicks ending.

Recap to come.