The Knicks were No. 1 in late July. Most rookie Quentin Grimes has not gone wrong after creating the University of Houston shooting guard with the 25-overall option.
After a slow start, Grimes came out like gangbusters in the summer league in Las Vegas. In their 1 minute and 46 seconds action in Saturday’s Blount victory over Washington, Grimes went on to hit two 3-pointers.
The 6-foot-5 Grimes two-way player is Tom Thibodeau Alley. On more than one occasion, NBA Coach of the Year, Grimes launched more than 800 3-pointers during his collegiate career – which suits the Knicks’ new 3-ball philosophy.
The 21-year-old Houston native is still wearing a green jersey at practice. The Knicks have three color schemes in downtown – blue for starters, gray for backups and green for rookies / players.
The Knicks are the deepest team in all positions – and the Grimes know that is waiting.
“Thieves preach whenever you have the opportunity. You have to be ready for it,” Grimes said. “It’s 82 games. Get ready. You don’t know. It could be the second game of TU. You want to be ready whenever the opportunity arises.
In the final two minutes in Washington, Grimes raised his stock.
“You have to be ready to come in and shoot shots,” said Grimes, who averaged 15.3 points on 40.7 percent 3-point shooting in six Summer League games. “It’s definitely an adjustment – my first time getting off the bench or sitting in the first 46 minutes. You have to be locked in and watch the whole game. You shouldn’t worry if your number doesn’t call.
Grimes and rookie point guard Miles McBride, no. 36 Option, in the same boat. In the first two preseason games, McBride was relegated to the end of the fourth quarter.
Yet when asked what he liked most about Grimes, Thibodeau was enthusiastic.
“Everything,” Thibodeau said. “He and Miles, they’re going to be good players. It started in the summer league, fall workout and then training camp. When I got there, get the job done. I love both guys. Quentin went in, Miles went right at the end of the game. They both played well.”
Houston coach Kelvin Sampson is known for his tough practices. Thus, Grimes didn’t bother with anything from his first NBA training camp. Grimes played his sophomore and junior years in Houston after transferring from Kansas.
“Thibs is tough but in college it’s different,” Grimes said. “Sampson can drive us to the floor because you only play 30 games. But Thibs is tough. He’s one of the toughest coaches I’ve ever had. But I like it a lot because he gives you freedom on the court too. So I like to play for him.”
Nerlens Noel (knee) and Derrick Rose (ankle) are expected to play against the Pistons on Wednesday in the third preseason game. Noel missed the first two with a right knee pain. Rose came out in the fourth quarter after twisting his ankle. Both players played full practice on Monday.
“I think they’re in a good place,” Thibodeau said.
Knicks center Mitchell Robinson is getting closer and Thibodeau will not be completely eliminated for Friday’s semifinal final against Washington.
“They’re making really good progress,” Thibodeau said. “He’s doing a lot more in practice. He’s doing a lot more practice now.