ORLANDO, Fla. — Knicks rookie RJ Barrett posted his first career double-double Monday in his first NBA victory over Chicago. The former Duke phenom thinks there will be a lot more wins and double-doubles in the future — maybe a season of them.
The 19-point, 15-rebound performance highlighted Barrett’s innate ability for board work, even as a 6-foot-7 shooting guard.
Asked if he feels one day he can average a double-double for a season, Barrett said, “I feel like one day it’s something I aspire to do. I feel the ball kind of finds me. I have a gift that way. So, yeah, hopefully one day.”
Barrett, saddled with the point-guard starting job Wednesday against the Magic, took a step back with his worst game of the season — scoring nine points on 4 of 11 shooting (1 of 4 from 3-point range) in the Knicks’ 95-83 loss to the Magic on Wednesday night. He also had just two rebounds, two assists to go with two turnovers, limited to 30 minutes.
Barrett said the point-guard role doesn’t fluster him.
“I’ve played it before — whatever the team needs,’’ Barrett said. “Whenever they need me to do that, I’ll be there.’’
Perhaps point guard will be Barrett’s future as well as being a triple-double threat.
“I’m going to try,” Barrett said.
Barrett, 19, was back on familiar ground at Wednesday’s morning shootaround at the Orlando-Tampa Volleyball Academy. He attended nearby basketball power Montverde for three years and played a slew of exhibition games in the facility. The school’s choir sang the national anthem before the game.
“It was fun,” Barrett said of the high-school academy experience. “It was good. A real learning curve for me, especially being so young and coming here. It was good though. I played with a lot of great players. I got a lot of people coming to the game today, so it should be a good one.”
Coach David Fizdale said the Knicks will send representatives to the funerals of Reggie Bullock’s sister and Dennis Smith Jr.’s stepmother.
“We’ll make sure we’re sending well wishes, and flowers and all that stuff,” Fizdale said. “Anything we could do that could possibly pick up their spirits.’’
This is the second sister of Bullock’s who has been murdered. As for the return of Bullock (herniated disc) to the court, Fizdale said.
“He’s coming along great. His body is really healing up. He’s shooting. He’s starting to do a little bit more here and there. Whenever he gets back, he’ll be another welcome shooter on our team. Right now for us, the biggest thing is we just want to take care of him and his family.”
Allonzo Trier did not play for a second straight game. … Mitchell Robinson had a big first half but fizzled. He wound up with 12 points, three blocks and five rebounds but played just seven minutes after intermission.
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