The Knicks are now 8-5 coming off the heels of three straight wins, the latest two without starter Quentin Grimes. The third-year wing is sidelined with a hand injury, but free agent acquisition Donte DiVincenzo has stepped up in his absence.
The latest Villanova product to join the roster had 25 and 14 points against Charlotte and Washington, respectively, on a combined 11-18 shooting from three, assisting in no small part to the wins. With his dynamic off-ball impact on full display, some Knicks fans have suggested he remain in the starting picture once Grimes returns.
The logic is there: DiVincenzo is the more active player despite arguably needing the ball less than Grimes, who has looked somewhat tentative this season. But does shaking up a successful starting lineup (dating back to last year) amid a winning streak and season make sense?
If your answer is “no,” it’s probably because the evidence weighs so heavily in the Grimes lineup’s favor. It’s the ninth-most-played lineup in the NBA this season despite all the missed time, outscoring opponents by 20.5 (!) points per 100 possessions in 118 minutes, after being plus-6.7 in 526 minutes last year.
Those numbers are hard to deny. Delving in deeper, while Grimes’ eight points a night on 40 percent deep shooting appear easily replaceable by DiVincenzo, it’s the defensive side of the ball where he has the individual edge.
Grimes guards the opposing team’s best perimeter player on a nightly basis, has been doing so since last December, and doing it relatively well. You’re not going to outright stop the Jayson Tatums and Luka Doncics of the league, you only hope to slow them down, and Grimes does a good job of that.
He’s low-seated and consistent with his defensive stance, uses his hands actively on the ball and tracks guys well through screens. While his counterpart is no slouch, Grimes has a real edge here.
DiVincenzo is a solid defender, but shouldn’t be one tasked with the toughest assignments of the evening. He makes his hay with timely steals away from the ball, forcing turnovers on a team that used to rarely do so.
If DiVincenzo were to…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/why-knicks-shouldnt-swap-quentin-150500561.html
Author : SNY
Publish date : 2023-11-20 15:05:00
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source.