Knicks gearing up for a position battle at shooting guard

quentin grimes, knicks
Feb 15, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) dribblers past Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) during the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

With training camp just a few weeks away, one thing many New York Knicks fans will keep their eyes on is the impending shooting guard battle between third-year player Quentin Grimes and newcomer Donte DiVincenzo.

The early expectation is that the Knicks’ starting five will look identical to last season’s, with Grimes retaining his role as the starting shooting guard. DiVincenzo is expected to receive plenty of burn as well, but how the minutes will be shared between the two guards is still up in the air.

The Knicks need to decide between experience and potential

DiVincenzo, 26, is a seasoned veteran with five NBA seasons under his belt, but Grimes is primed to take an even bigger leap in his third NBA season.

Grimes became the Knicks’ starting shooting guard early last season and his numbers saw a dramatic improvement. He upped his scoring to average to 11 points per game and shot 39% from beyond the arc. Along with that, his inside game and passing abilities also saw improvements.

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Quentin Grimes has breakout potential

“This year is gonna be Grime time at MSG,” said The Athletic’s Jared Weiss. “Immanuel Quickley made the national leap last year, but Quentin Grimes has the potential to make that same ascension as he gets better attacking the rim and making decisions off the catch.”

It is clear that Grimes’ development last season displayed the potential to become one of the most valuable role players in the NBA, and the stage is set for him to continue to take steps forward as a player.

Donte DiVincenzo bringing experience to the bench rotation

Having said that, DiVincenzo’s experience and similar play style to Grimes gives him a chance to play a significant role on the Knicks as well.

DiVincenzo has plenty of college playing experience with Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart, winning two titles at Villanova with Brunson. That factor alone will ensure that those three will see the court together fairly often, as their chemistry has already been built.

With the significant impact that Brunson and Hart bring to the team, that opens up more playing time for DiVincenzo to get on the floor, as head coach Tom Thibodeau will likely want to take advantage of using guys that mesh well the best.

Who gets the nod in the closing moments?

What it really comes down to is which shooting guard will receive the closing minutes in tightly contested games. Thibodeau has a lot of trust in Grimes, evidenced by allowing him to play all 48 minutes in an elimination game last playoffs. However, DiVincenzo has the experience as well as the championship pedigree that justifies him receiving those minutes as well.

Ultimately, the Knicks have a good problem to deal with, as both guards are expected to provide significant value on both ends of the ball throughout the season. It should be exciting to watch both players grow into their roles and see who gets the bulk of the playing time as the season progresses.

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