The New York Knicks are exploring their whole depth chart to aid their 3-4 start to the new season.
Coach Tom Thibodeau’s backcourt consists of play from Jalen Brunson, Immanuel Quickley, Derrick Rose, and their 2021 first-round pick Quentin Grimes, who made his season debut against the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night.
Playing the last five minutes of a blowout loss, Grimes came away with just one assist on his stat line. Nonetheless, he was relieved to get some playing time under his belt and is pleased with how the coaching staff has handled his return to the court.
“They don’t want to throw me in too fast and go in and play 30 minutes,” Grimes said. “They don’t want my foot to flare up again like it did. So right now, I’m just focused on what Thibs [Thibodeau] needs me to do whenever I get into the games.”
The slow start to Grimes’ second season is no coincidence as Thibodeau hopes to see his development in the ‘situational’ moments of a game going forward. That may be tough to evaluate as Grimes, in the 21 minutes played (pre-season and regular season), has only shot three attempts with zero points.
“He’s situational right now,” said coach Thibodeau. “But we’ll take a look at it.”
Extending his minutes may detriment the bench scoring of the team, but with his 6’4 210 pound frame, Grimes is confident he can find an area in his game that can implement a winning foundation for the Knicks.
“With me, I feel like I can come in, bring a lot of energy, intensity to the game,” said Grimes. “And hopefully [we can] lockdown defensively as a unit.”
The Knicks are averaging the fourth-lowest steals among NBA teams at the moment and if Grimes looks to add any baskets and keep true to his word, turning defense into offense is a way to start.
The Knicks may not have the pieces falling apart just yet, but if they continue to give up 30+ point performances as they have the last three games, it wouldn’t be to anyone’s surprise if Thibodeau looks to make a defensive adjustment by adding a man like Grimes to the bench unit.