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Explore how Quentin Grimes can raise the Knicks

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It wasn’t the only thing Quentin Grimes did in the past two games that blew you away. It wasn’t just about his shots, his defense, his style of play, or his movement of the ball.

it was all.

It was a glimpse into why the Knicks and head coach Tom Thibodeau were so special. That was what everyone saw during the Las Vegas Summer League, when the second-year guard was impressive across the board, showing that he’s more than just a shooter.

With Cam Reddish and Derrick Rose missing the last two games of the final five-game road trip due to injury, The Knicks finally let Grimes loose, produced on both ends of the earth. He had 10 points, eight assists and five rebounds loss of the sunand put up eight points, five rebounds and two steals Victory over Thunder. He started and played at least 32 minutes in each competition.

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Quentin Grimes has a reputation as a knockout shooter. But there’s more to his game.
via Twitter

Eight days after letting Oklahoma City put up 145 points at the park, the Knicks have kept the Thunder in check. Grimes was a factor – the Knicks outscored the Thunder by nine points while on the floor – helping to limit star guard Shay Gilgos Alexander to an ineffective 9-of-22 shooting performance.

It’s been a long time coming for the 6-foot-4 Grimes, who missed almost the entire pre-season with a sore left foot and much of the season’s first month as the foot kept working. Finally healthy and capable of scoring key minutes, Grimes produced, and could establish himself as a shooting guard (even after Cam Reddish returned from a groin injury). Grimes might have worked opening night if not for the foot injury.

My favorite thing about how Grimes performed on the offensive end was his quick decisions. He doesn’t dribble much, and prefers to act quickly, whether that’s swinging the ball, attacking or looking for his shot.

Check out this assertive drive for a cornerback against the Thunder after taking a pass outside the 3-point arc:

Quentin Grimes of the New York Knicks leads for a basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
via Twitter
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Or this plate and plate by Isaiah Hartenstein from the Suns:

Quentin Grimes of the New York Knicks assisted Isiah Hartenstein in a game against the Phoenix Suns.
via Twitter

When the Knicks have struggled on the offensive end, it’s often as a result of the offense slumping and resorting to too much isolation. Jalen Brunson has improved his flow, and Grimes will add to it. Thibodeau likes to say: The game tells you what to do. Grimes seems to be playing with that line in mind. He often plays right.

Defensively, the 22-year-old Texan isn’t big for a winger, but he’s a solid body that’s quick and nimble. He has two active hands, can stay in front of his man — a huge bonus for Knicks, who’ve struggled on perimeter defense — and does his best to challenge every shot.

Quentin Grimes of the New York Knicks tackles a shot by Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker.
Grimes competes in a jacket by Suns star Devin Booker.
via Twitter

Compete. Grimes looks like a Thibodeau type player.

Now, look, it’s obviously a small sample size. Grimes needs to stay healthy. He has to keep performing. Still not installed. Who knows where this goes from here? But the Knicks didn’t want to lose Grimes in the process Foreign trade talks with Jazz regarding Donovan Mitchell Because of the potential they saw in him. The last two games showed glimpses of this upside.

Home, get cooking

For about a quarter of the season, the Knicks have been doing better on the road than at home when you think about the level of competition. They own road wins over the Timberwolves, 76ers (albeit without James Harden and Joel Embiid), the Jazz, the Nuggets, and the Thunder. They played the Grizzlies and Cavaliers very hard.

Now they need to perform better against good opponents at home. The Knicks are 4-3 at the Park, but those four wins have come against the Pistons (twice), the Magic and the very shorthanded Hornets, teams totaling 15-42. They weren’t really in the game late in the fourth quarter in their three losses against the Celtics, Thunder and Hawks, and that’s despite having a big lead in the first half against the latter two. Their defense was particularly bad in those losses, allowing an average of 130 points and collecting 48.3 percent on 3-pointers.

Jericho Sims #45 of the New York Knicks grabs a rebound against the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 13, 2022 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
Are the Knicks struggling at Madison Square Garden from last season?
NBAE via Getty Images

The upcoming roster will give the Knicks a chance to start building a home advantage, and they’ll need to beat the expected playoff teams to do so. The Trail Blazers and Grizzlies stop by this weekend, the Bucks and Giannis visit Antetokounmpo on Wednesday, and the Mavericks and Cavaliers put up a grueling week-long showdown on Saturday before the Hawks and Trae Young return three days later.

This is not a new problem. The Knicks were 17-24 in the park last year. Only three teams in the Eastern Conference—the Pistons, Pacers and Magic—have won at home fewer times.

Griffin takes flight

Westchester native and Duke’s singles winger AJ Griffin He was associated with the Knicks In the lead-up to the June NBA Draft. Many experts expected Griffin to move to the Knicks with the 11th overall pick.

But team president Leon Rose never made a pick, instead trading the pick with the Thunder for three future first-round draft picks. The Knicks then acquired the No. 13 pick in exchange for five future draft picks and distributed it to the Pistons, along with Kemba Walker, to chip away at his $9.2 million salary.

Justin Holiday #8 and Trae Young #11 celebrate with teammate AJ Griffin #14 of the Atlanta Hawks after the game against the Toronto Raptors on November 19, 2022.
AJ Griffin’s appearance with the Hawks resets the Knicks’ decision to exit in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft.
NBAE via Getty Images

Griffin got off to a sweet start with the Hawks, who took him with pick #16. With De’Andre Hunter out of the lineup earlier this week, Griffin has played more than 30 minutes in consecutive games, scoring 17 points in all of them, including Game winning layup in Saturday’s overtime win over the Raptors. On Wednesday evening, he returned to the bench and scored 12 points in 24 minutes. Notably, Griffin shoots 39.1 percent from depth. The Knicks are second to last in the league with a three-point shooting average of 31.6 percent, barely ahead of the Lakers (30.6 points).

Now, it should be noted that with a first-round trade, the Knicks were able to clear up enough salary room to hire Jalen Bronson, who was a home signing, and they added a future draft asset that could be used to land a superstar down the road.

Griffin, 19, has been away from home runs. Teams were concerned about his injury history, the limited athleticism he showed at Duke and his lack of consistency, scouts told The Post before the draft. But he was productive as the Hawks went 11-7, averaging 8.6 points in 16.9 minutes, and outperforming wingers like Ochai Agbagi and Johnny Davis who were selected before him.

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