A former Duke basketball star is taking disrespect to heart and putting the NBA on notice.
Every great basketball player knows how to motivate themselves, and sometimes that motivation comes from more obvious places than others as Duke basketball star RJ Barrett is showing.
Barrett was not included in ESPN’s Top-25 NBA players under the age of 25, and Minnesota Timberwolves (14-40) rookie Anthony Edwards recently said that the team wanted Barrett to take one of the final shots in the New York Knicks’ (27-27) loss to Minnesota because the former Blue Devil was not clutch.
Well, RJ Barrett isn’t taking those criticisms lightly.
Since Edwards’ comments, Barrett is averaging 18.6 points per game, and immediately following the publishing of the ESPN list, the former consensus All-American dropped 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting against the Boston Celtics.
But that’s not all.
In the last two games for the Knicks, Barrett has come up clutch in the final five minutes of regulation and in overtime, shooting 7-of-8 from the field, 3-of-3 from 3-point range, and 3-of-3 from the free throw line, according to Tommy Beer of Forbes.
Duke basketball star proving his clutch abilities
In a Friday night overtime victory against the Memphis Grizzlies, Barrett finished with 20 points, five rebounds, two assists, and a steal on 7-of-13 shooting with three free throws to tie the game at 112 with 37 seconds to play in regulation. And he made a layup with 8.8 seconds left to tie the game once again.
RJ Barrett hit a 3-pointer with just more than a minute left in overtime against the Grizzlies, giving the Knicks a 127-124 lead, which they would never relinquish in their 133-129 win.
The former Blue Devil continued his impressive clutch stretch against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night as the Knicks saw an 18-point lead vanish. Barrett tied the game at 87 with 5:18 left to play and followed that with a dagger 3-pointer, which put New York up four, 98-94, with 34.9 seconds left.
Barrett finished the game with 19 points, one rebound, five assists, and two steals on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 from 3-point range in the 102-96 victory.
RJ Barrett is averaging 17.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game on 45.2-percent from the floor and an improving 38.2-percent from downtown.
New York returns to the court for its second of a back-to-back against the shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, April 12 at 7:30pm EST.