The Knicks have gone a respectable 4-5 in RJ Barrett’s absence, but they will be happy to have the face of the franchise back Thursday night.
It’s not definite, but Barrett could make his return from a nine-game absence with a right ankle sprain Thursday versus Orlando. Barrett participated full bore in his first practice Wednesday.
“I was feeling good,’’ Barrett said. “I was having fun. Just to be back out there. I had a little bounce in my step today. You all saw me running up and down so I’m feeling a lot better. … [Thursday’s] a possibility, nothing’s for sure.”
The Knicks have survived the loss of Barrett mainly because of the solid play of shooting guard Damyean Dotson, who is a free agent this summer.
Barrett, 19, has been a solid defender, but not very efficient offensively, shooting 39.2 percent from the field and 60 percent from the free-throw line despite averaging 14.1 points. But his last six games saw a significant uptick for the Duke product, who is the Knicks’ best hope for a future All-Star. Over that span, Barrett converted 44.3 percent of his field goals (42.9 percent from 3— and 75.6 percent of his free throws during that span.
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