The Knicks never stood much of a chance Monday night against the Houston Rockets, even with Russell Westbrook on the bench. Houston has owned the Knicks pretty much this entire century, and James Harden averages roughly 80 points per game against our guys.
But Monday’s contest was actually pretty fun...for the first 12 minutes. And it was all due to the heroics of RJ Barrett, who went toe-to-toe, lefty-to-lefty with Harden in the first. Barrett finished the frame with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. He even hit two threes...seemingly his first two makes from beyond the arc since the new year. It was, quite simply, his finest stretch of the season.
RJ with 12 points on 5-6 shooting in the 1st pic.twitter.com/nz7InxjH8U— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) February 25, 2020
RJ just passed his per-game scoring average for the season (13.7) in the first quarter (14) pic.twitter.com/zRY9nn0LoT— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) February 25, 2020
And then...it was gone. RJ took a rest in the second quarter, and when he came back the Knicks basically refused to give him the ball. The biggest perpetrators were Bobby Portis (who was horrific even by his standards) and Julius Randle.
RJ Barrett's season in 16 seconds pic.twitter.com/9eendRMYbr— (@Burnedgoat) February 25, 2020
By the time RJ got the ball again, he was the brick-happy RJ of old. He started the game 6-8 (2-2 from three), but finished 2-9 (0-3 from three). It was depressing as hell.
By the way, your final score is 123-112, Rockets. Who cares, right?
Recap to come.