Deuce McBride’s rise should pay off in playoffs — whether Knicks are at full-strength or not


The Knicks’ season has been all about change. The club has made two significant in-season trades and also dealt with several injuries to key players.

All of those changes have led to new lineup combinations and expanded roles for several players. One beneficiary is Deuce McBride. The third-year guard was given an opportunity to become a permanent fixture in New York’s rotation in January after the Knicks dealt backup guard Immanuel Quickley to the Toronto Raptors in the OG Anunoby trade. And after receiving minutes, McBride hasn’t looked back.

He has posted career-highs across the board, including 8.2 points per game and 42.1 percent from the three-point line. Since Anunoby has been out of the lineup with an elbow injury, McBride has started eight consecutive games. In that stretch, he has scored at least 24 points on four occasions, including a career-high 29 points — and tying that mark nine days later. He has averaged 18.5 points in the last eight games, including 24 points in Tuesday night’s 109-99 loss against the Miami Heat.

While his offense has ascended to new heights, McBride has also continued to excel as a defensive disruptor on the perimeter. He’s often guarding the best guards on the opposition. During his recent stretch as a starter, he’s defended the likes of Stephen Curry, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jamal Murray.

McBride is just 6-1 but he has a near 6-9 wingspan that envelops offensive players on the ball and seals up passing windows off the ball. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has displayed ultimate trust in McBride, who has been indispensable and has played at least 43 minutes in seven of the last eight games.

At 23 years old, there’s still room for the former second-round pick to improve. He hasn’t been up to task running the show when All-Star Jalen Brunson sits, and has been more effective in catch-and-shoot situations or moments that require less ball handling. If he can become a more dynamic playmaker and shot creator, it would add even more to what he is now.

New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) shoots the ball against the Toronto Raptors in the first half at Scotiabank Arena. /…

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Author : SNY

Publish date : 2024-04-03 16:00:28

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