Quentin Grimes has logged heavy minutes in back-to-back begins for the Knicks, maybe finally placing a lot of the uncertainty over his lingering foot damage behind him.
Tom Thibodeau has usually praised Grimes because the Knicks’ prime perimeter defender, however the second-year guard was sidelined for all however 43 minutes of the workforce’s first 16 video games due to the foot soreness that has hampered him since early in coaching camp.
Grimes was on the court docket for 65 minutes over the previous two video games, together with 33 within the Knicks’ win Monday evening in Oklahoma City to full an encouraging 3-2 street journey towards a number of formidable Western Conference opponents.
“I really feel nice … I really feel like I’m type of again to my previous recreation form, actually,” Grimes stated after the sport. “We’re drained, however we wished to come out [of the trip] 3-2, and that is what we did.”
The 22-year-old Grimes moved into the starting lineup within the Knicks’ loss the day gone by in Phoenix, taking part in 32 minutes with Cam Reddish unavailable due to a groin damage suffered in Friday’s loss at Golden State.
In addition to his eight factors on 4-for-10 taking pictures Monday evening, Grimes drew opposing guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as his major defensive project. While the rising star netted 30, Thibodeau credited Grimes and fellow second-year guard Miles McBride for his or her perimeter protection as a key to an improved effort after OKC put up 145 factors within the earlier assembly between the groups in New York eight days earlier.
“I do know he is having a stellar season proper now. I knew he was gonna be a tricky matchup coming in,” Grimes stated of Gilgeous-Alexander, who is fourth within the NBA with 31.1 factors per recreation. “He’s a tricky guard. He likes to get downhill, he is artful. You attempt to get bodily with him, that is why you see why he is top-of-the-line guards within the league.
“You simply attempt to go on the market and make it as robust as you’ll be able to for him … and I really feel like I did that.”
Even with Reddish sidelined for the previous two video games, veteran guard Evan Fournier did not play a minute on the street journey. With Derrick Rose additionally sidelined Monday with a toe damage suffered someday earlier in Phoenix, McBride was allotted a season-high 15 minutes off the bench. He and Grimes notched two steals apiece among the many Knicks’ 10 for the sport.
“I assumed our protection was actually good they usually’re a tough workforce to guard,” Thibodeau stated of the Thunder. “They’re big, they’re fast. It requires you to make a number of efforts on virtually each play. They’re good transferring with out the ball. But I appreciated our togetherness on each offense and protection.
“I assumed we had a lot of guys step up and play nicely. You may begin with Deuce and Quentin when it comes to ball strain.”
Thibodeau famous that RJ Barrett and Julius Randle additionally posted “big video games” with 25 factors apiece and level guard Jalen Brunson “had a monster recreation” with a season-high 34 in “an excellent, stable workforce win for us.”
“The method guys stepped up, Deuce coming in and giving us big minutes, QG, going from not taking part in for a bit and starting and giving us nice minutes, I really feel like everyone contributed,” stated Immanuel Quickley, who registered 18 factors. “That’s what we wanted.”
“It’s what’s anticipated,” Brunson added of Grimes and McBride. “These guys work arduous. Whenever their quantity is referred to as, they’re prepared. It’s how they’ve at all times been when I’ve seen them from afar. Now that I’m seeing them up shut and private it is fairly cool to see.”