Duke basketball: RJ Barrett continues strong play as Knicks even series

Duke basketball guard RJ Barrett (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball guard RJ Barrett (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

Former Duke basketball guard RJ Barrett is thriving in his second postseason.

The bright lights of the NBA Playoffs are nothing that special for former Duke basketball guard RJ Barrett.

Barrett, in his second career appearance in the postseason, is thriving under the pressure and helping lead the New York Knicks to heights the franchise hasn’t reached in ten years.

New York tied up its series against the Miami Heat at one game apiece after dumping the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games during the opening round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Barrett averaged 17.4 points per game against Cleveland on 44.1-percent shooting from the field despite just making 25.0-percent of his 3-point attempts.

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The former Blue Devil has been thrusted into a large role with the periodic absences of star Julius Randle because of ankle injuries, which forced him to miss Game 1 of the series, which saw the Ontario native go for 26 points on 10-of-20 shooting despite the Knicks loss.

Barrett finally got his 3-point shot to fall in Game 2 with his 24 points coming on 5-for-9 shooting from distance, the most 3-pointers made in a game since December 23 when he connected on all six of his attempts.

Duke basketball standout looking to continue impressive season

RJ Barrett posted 19.6 points per contest in the regular season, his second highest scoring average in his career after netting 20.0 points per game last year.

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Barrett, despite receiving a lot of criticism for his play since entering the league, is the only player remaining who was selected in the Top-8 of the 2019 NBA Draft to still be playing this season.

The two teams will have an extended rest before the series shifts to Miami as Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday, May 6 (3:30p.m. ET, ABC).

Next. Mark Mitchell address lofty preseason expectations. dark