Quentin Grimes, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
There haven’t been many positives to write about with the New York Knicks as of late but there was a major bright spot from Sunday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
That was the play of rookie Quentin Grimes, who had a breakout game in his first career NBA start.
New York was missing some key players for this game — RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, and Alec Burks were all out for a variety of reasons.
Taking on the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks is no easy task, especially when you’re down some of your main players. The Knicks saw guys like Quentin Grimes and Kevin Knox get their first meaningful minutes of the season and they were up for the challenge.
The Knicks lost this game. There wasn’t much of an answer for Giannis Antetokounmpo, who would be boxing out and getting rebounds over Mitchell Robinson on one end and then running the offense on the other.
Milwaukee’s defense was swarming and their offense was moving the ball well. New York still fought for most of the game.
Even with the loss, there was a different energy to this Knicks team today that kept battling throughout.
Quentin Grimes was absolutely on fire as a shooter. He set a New York Knicks franchise record for 3-pointers in a game, hitting 8 total. He finished the game with 27 points and 3 assists.
Just looking at the box score, of course this looked like a terrific game from Grimes, but it was a lot more than just the lights-out shooting.
When we pick on the Knicks’ starters for their woes this season, a recurring theme always seems to be laziness. Indecisiveness, lack of focus, and just a lack of grit overall.
Quentin Grimes felt like the injection of life that has been so absent from the starting lineup.
When I talked to Quentin’s manager earlier in the year, Matt Keep Going, you could tell that there was a level of maturity and preparedness that went into Grimes’ routine. He would be ready for this moment.
Every time he got the ball he immediately made himself seem like a threat to score. A quick jab, a crossover, and if he didn’t take the shot, it was a quick and assertive pass. It wasn’t the usual slow, soft, lackadaisical passes that we’ve seen from Julius Randle and Evan Fournier.
That energy is infectious. He wasn’t taking any plays off. He wasn’t settling on offense.
It’s these small elements of the game of basketball that we haven’t seen at any level of consistency from Evan Fournier this season and it’s something that needs to be noticed by the coaching staff.
The talent is there with Grimes. He’s really a plug-and-play wing player who will impact any given game either with the ball in his hands or moving off-ball.
Quentin Grimes was hungry. He played like he had something to prove. Knicks fans have been starving for this kind of energy and it’s hard to see how he doesn’t get rewarded for his performance against a tough Milwaukee Bucks team.
In a season where we’ve already seen some big lineup changes, getting Quentin Grimes consistent minutes might be the next move.
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