Takeaways from the Knicks 3rd Preseason Game: NY's JV Squad Beat By Boston
It's wise not to read too much into preseason scrimmages. That's especially true when one team is without their five best players...
Tuesday was the front end of a back-to-back for the Knicks, so the team decided to have Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Jalen Brunson, Immanuel Quickley and Josh Hart all stay back in New York while the rest of the squad shipped off to Boston.
With the regulars resting, head coach Tom Thibodeau rolled out a starting five of Miles McBride, Quentin Grimes, Donte DiVincenzo, Jericho Sims and Mitchell Robinson. The Celtics played their stars and looked fantastic in the first half, taking and making three-pointers at a ridiculous rate. Jayson Tatum led the way for the C's, racking up 28 points, eight boards and four assists. New York trailed by 20+ points in the first half but fought back, carving the lead to single digits, before Boston eventually pulled away for a 123-110 victory.
As expected, Grimes had an opportunity to shine for the shorthanded Knicks and made the most of it. QG nailed seven three-pointers en route to 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting, to go along with two rebounds, three assists, and one steal in 26 minutes. On a night the Knicks got blown out, New York outscored Boston by six points with Grimes on the court.
Watching the game, I couldn't help but think about the kind of numbers Grimes might average this season if he were playing for a young rebuilding ballclub. For instance, let's say Grimes was on the Wizards and was encouraged to put up 15+ field goal attempts each night. It's not a stretch to suggest he could flirt with the 20 PPG plateau.
Remember, among all guards who logged at least 2,000 minutes last season, only three posted a better True Shooting percentage. Here's the list of the highest TS% among all guards:
1. Steph Curry: 65.6%
2. Dame Lillard: 64.5%
3. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 62.6%
4. QUENTIN GRIMES: 61.9%
5. Donovan Mitchell: 61.4%
6. Kyrie Irving: 61.3%
Either way, last night was an important reminder that New York needs to feed Grimes even when Brunson, Randle and Barrett are all active.
The Knicks second-leading scorer in Beantown on Tuesday was Mr. Miles McBride. Deuce was inefficient on the offensive end (shooting 6-of-18 from the floor and 2-of-8 from downtown) but did stuff the stat sheet, finishing with 16 points, six assists, two rebounds, two treys and four steals. Becoming a more consistent and reliable jump-shooter is the only thing holding McBride back at this point. He's shown he can adequately handle pressure from opposing point guards, and we know he can wreck games on the defensive end. Simply put, he's a winner that helps his team win.