Knicks’ Miles McBride rises to the occasion in Game 1 vs. 76ers

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks guard Miles McBride professed his excitement for the postseason before the start of the 2024 NBA Playoffs and delivered in a big way in Game 1 of their first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.

McBride’s confidence translated into a 21-point outing. He was third on the team in scoring behind Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart’s 22 points apiece. The Knicks benefitted from his high-scoring as they downed the Sixers 111-104.

Was Miles McBride the biggest X-factor for the Knicks in Game 1 against the 76ers?

There were many things that went right for the shorthanded Knicks in the affair. McBride’s big day may have been the most important for the team moving forward.

He showed an ability to come in and find his rhythm early, making his first two shot attempts and scoring eight points along with an assist in 2:44 after checking in. The 23-year-old’s aggression emanated on the defensive end as well. He finished with a steal on the day.

How much did McBride’s 28 minutes of action factor into the win? The West Virginia product was a +37 for the game, which led all Knicks players. His 5-7 clip from outside was also a team-high. Moreso, his 58.3% connect rate from the field and four assists trailed only Mitchell Robinson (60%) and Brunson (seven assists) respectively.

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks HC Tom Thibodeau encouraged by McBride’s two-way play

Per John Schuhmann of, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau was pleased with McBride’s effort. He projected that his intangible contributions coupled with his work on the stat sheet will be instrumental for the rest of the postseason:

“It’s not just the shot-making,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said about McBride’s performance. “But it’s the energy. It’s the defense. It’s the hustle. That goes a long way.”

NBA: Utah Jazz at New York Knicks
Jan 30, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts during the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Should McBride keep up this level of play, the Knicks will be in good hands, especially on the road. He finished the game over starting shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo, and that may reoccur in future games this series.

The Knicks held teams to 108.2 points per game this season on the road which ranked No. 2 in the league, and came away with a 4.5 point differential per game, which was No. 4. McBride’s reliability on both ends will give them a great shot to replicate that regular season success in Game 2 with a Sixers team that will likely come out with a greater sense of urgency.

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