MORRIS EJECTED: Marcus Morris was ejected 13 seconds into the second half for doing something you don’t see often. First, he appeared to hit Justin Anderson, his defender, with an elbow when he swung his arms through to create space. That happens regularly in the NBA. Here’s the odd part. He then hit Anderson in the head with the ball and started jawing with him. He received a flagrant-two, presumably for the whole sequence.
Sometimes, the league suspends a player who commits a flagrant-two if it’s deemed he acted intentionally. So Morris may not be available for Friday’s game against Washington.
Morris was fantastic in the first half, leading the Knicks with 17 points and seven rebounds. He hit three of his four 3-point attempts and helped New York build a 15-point lead. After Morris’ ejection, Washington outscored New York by 15 over the next six minutes to tie the game.
BARRETT DEBUT: RJ Barrett impacted the game on both ends of the floor in the third quarter. He had nine points, two assists, two rebounds and one steal to help New York rebuild its lead. Barrett’s strength was apparent midway through the quarter when he used his body to create space and convert layups on back-to-back possessions. He also knocked down a 3-pointer and drew a charge in the quarter.
It was a productive stretch after a slow start for Barrett. The No. 3 overall pick missed his first four 3-point attempts in the first half and had one turnover. As is always the case with preseason basketball, it’s silly to overreact to anything you saw from Barrett tonight.
I was impressed with Barrett when I watched the game later. It’s nice to have one of those special top of the draft type guys. A lot of his issues seem to be fixable ones. He certainly has a lot of talent. He’ll be a lot of fun to watch this season.
The Knicks luckily get to play this same shitty Wizards team in their second preseason game. That’s a nice way to build up some early confidence!