Knicks’ Quentin Grimes puts on a show in reduced role

New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) shoots in the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

After being openly frustrated about his role earlier this week, Quentin Grimes was relegated to the bench for the New York Knicks game against the Boston Celtics, with Donte DiVincenzo taking his spot in the starting five.

He responded with arguably one of his best performances of the season.

Grimes scored 13 points on 5-10 shooting (3-7 from three) coming off the bench in Friday’s game, which is more shot attempts and points scored than he had in the other games he played this week combined.

However, the Knicks fell short to the Celtics by a score of 133-123, so the move, unfortunately, did not equal better team results.

Grimes thinks the change is good for him

The third-year shooting guard thinks that the change will benefit him in the long term when it comes to his shot volume.

“I’ll definitely have the ball more, knowing I’m going to get more opportunities,” said Grimes via The New York Post. “It could be a better situation for me.”

DiVincenzo and the team’s defense struggled against Boston

DiVincenzo, meanwhile, struggled in his third start of the season, as he scored just six points on just 2-6 shooting from the floor and was tied for a team-worst with a -21 plus-minus rating.

The team’s defense was horrific against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday – before the lineup change was made – and it continued to struggle against the Celtics. They have allowed a combined 279 points over their last two games and have also allowed an opponent three-point percentage of 49% (42-85) in that span.

Will Grimes earn back his spot in the Knicks’ starting lineup?

It may be premature to draw a conclusion regarding the change after just one game, but it is safe to say that it did not leave a good first impression in terms of the team’s performance.

If the Knicks want to get back on track, they’re going to have to play better defense as a unit. Grimes was usually tasked with guarding a team’s best player each night, but that may change going forward with him currently in a bench role.

Their offense as a whole is picking up steam, but it is moot if they are giving up those points on the other end.

Evidently, the lineup change and the poor defense may not be cause-and-effect, but it will also be interesting to see if the Knicks opt to go back to Grimes in the starting five if the defense doesn’t improve.

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