New York Knicks: Who stepped up in preseason win over Wizards?

New York Knicks (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images) /

RJ Barrett

Stats: 17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists,  6-for-13 shooting, 2-for-6 on three-pointers, 39 minutes

RJ Barrett struggled for the first half of Monday’s preseason opener. He was 0-for-4 on three-pointers and just could not hit his shot. The scenes were reminiscent of his summer league, which featured underwhelming performances.

However, the Duke product closed July well, and he finished this game for the New York Knicks on a high note.

Contributing across the board, Barrett had 17 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists on a solid 6-for-13 shooting. He not only made a few outside chances but thrived in the area of the floor that created success in college: working around the basket.

Barrett is crafty at finishing at the rim and frequently set himself up for opportunities, including an easy finish off a Randle pass:

He has the NBA body to work close to the basket, and that will help as the jumpshot develops over the months six months or even into his sophomore season because, clearly, it has steps to take.

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Barrett has every chance to take one of New York’s main scoring roles. Randle might be the lead player, but the No. 2 spot is wide open, as the rookie guard, Morris, Kevin Knox and others vie for this. It will not develop overnight, but if this was a sign, the Knicks might have a special scorer in the making.