Quentin Grimes shows why the Knicks think so highly of him

November 4, 2022;  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA;  New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) in action against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center

November 4, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) in action against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

This was a few weeks ago, before the Knicks clinched eight wins in a row. Quentin Grimes just started playing significant minutes. His defense was there, but his shot didn’t hit. In his first eight games as a rotation player, Grimes hit just 25 percent of three.

Some Knicks fans may have been concerned about Grimes’ shooting at the time. There were maybe a few people in the organization who were concerned about that.

You know who wasn’t worried? Tom Thibodeau.

“He shot 38 (percent) as a rookie, so we already know where that is going. We see him shooting every day,” Thibodeau said earlier this month.

A few weeks later, Thibodeau’s confidence in Grimes looks prescient.

The sophomore guard has shot 50 percent from three in his last seven games, including a 4-for-8 night against Golden State on Tuesday.

Grimes’ shooting, defense and overall health are big factors in the Knicks’ eight-game winning streak.

Forty-eight players have logged at least 250 minutes since New York’s winning streak began. No player has a better plus/minus than Grimes (+112) during that period, according to NBA.com.

If you go back a little further to when the Knicks put Grimes back in the starting lineup, the numbers are just as impressive.

Grimes returned to the starting lineup on November 21 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sixty-eight players have played 10 games in that period and averaged at least 30 minutes in those games. Grimes and Zion Williamson have the best net score of that group (+9.1).

Again, none of this should surprise Thibodeau.

“Last year he showed us how good he was defensively. So I think he’s just going to get better and better as he gets more knowledgeable, more familiar with each guy,” Thibodeau said earlier this month. he just has a knack for it, he has a perseverance. He’s a big man with multiple efforts. Always great intensity.”

Thibodeau likes intensity, so it’s no surprise he likes Grimes. He was one of the Knicks decision makers adamant about keeping Grimes out of the package New York sent to the Atlanta Hawks for Cam reddish Last January.

No, Grimes was not untouchable in the Knicks’ talks with the Utah Jazz about Donovan Mitchell. New York wouldn’t give up on either one RJ Barrett and Grimes. But would they have given up Grimes in a package that Mitchell returned if they thought it was the right deal? Of course they would have.

Yet you can now see why Thibodeau and others value Grimes so much.

He and a healthy one Mitchell Robinson have been keys to the club’s defensive renaissance.

“He has great posture. He has great discipline,” said Thibodeau a few weeks ago of Grimes, who missed the first two months of the season due to a foot/heel condition. “He knows how to challenge shots, and he flying around all the time. He is everywhere.”

He’s been everywhere for the Knicks during their current winning streak. And if Thibodeau has anything to say about it, Grimes will be everywhere for the Knicks for a long time to come.

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