Barrett falls against Reddish, Zion is next

NEW YORK (AP) – RJ Barrett kept misfiring, a rough start to his college reunion week at Madison Square Garden.

Barrett did plenty of things well but not shooting, going four for 14 on Wednesday night in the New York Knicks’ 100-96 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Old teammate Cam Reddish left with a victory, but Barrett gets another chance for bragging rights among Duke rookies tomorrow, when Zion Williamson comes to town.

Williamson, Barrett and Reddish were freshmen at Duke last season who went on to become top-10 NBA draft picks. Barrett, the number three pick, and Reddish, taken 10th, were guarding each other at the start of the game.

“Obviously, competing against him (Barrett) was a ton of fun,” Cam Reddish said.

“I mean, obviously in college we were together non-stop and we’re here now, so competing against him was definitely a good experience.”

While Williamson has been tearing up the NBA in preseason play to the tune of 23.3 points per game on 71.4 per cent shooting for unbeaten New Orleans, Barrett and Reddish have experienced some of the usual rookie struggles.

Reddish entered shooting 28.6 per cent at six for 21. He was four for seven when the Hawks lost to the Pelicans in their opener, but then went one for seven in each of the next two games, missing all eight three-point attempts.

He bounced back with a four-for-nine performance and nine points, which was good enough the way Trae Young (23 points, nine assists) and Vince Carter (17 points, five three-pointers) played.

Barrett averaged 16 points in his first two games and finished with 12 in this one. He did add seven rebounds and a team-high six assists, but his outside shot just wouldn’t fall and his errant pass in the third quarter was scooped up by Reddish and taken for a three-point play that gave Atlanta a 75-69 lead.

New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett looks to pass while Atlanta Hawks forward Cam Reddish and centre Alex Len defend during the first half of a pre-season NBA basketball game in New York. PHOTO: AP