Knicks’ young shooting guard seems like an early catalyst

nba: new york knicks at atlanta hawks, quentin grimes
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Quentin Grimes was a bright spot for the New York Knicks in an otherwise disappointing 108-104 season-opening loss to the Boston Celtics and looks like an early catalyst for the team.

Knicks Benefitted off of Grimes’ Reliability From Outside

Grimes shot 50 percent from deep and showed that his offseason work with all-time great shooter JJ Redick paid off. He backed that up by going 4-7 from the floor on the night. His lone blunder was going 0-1 from the free throw line, making a small contribution to a terrible Knicks 53.8 percent performance from the charity stripe.

Having been named the starting shooting guard for the second straight year by Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau, Grimes came in and did his job. As the 2022-23 season showed, New York needs three-point shooting help more than anything. Grimes showed early that he will be the backbone of their formidability from outside as the season progresses.

Grimes‘ 23-foot banger with just over four minutes to go in regulation gave the Knicks what they hoped would’ve been a 99-93 lead that they could hold onto for the rest of the night. Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis spoiled that down the stretch. Nevertheless, Grimes has the size and the athleticism to be a bright spot elsewhere on the floor.

On Friday night against the Hawks, Grimes only added six points, hitting two 3-PT shots over five attempts. However, Grimes was splitting time with Donte DiVincenzo, who had a stellar game, adding 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The Knicks seem to be riding the hot hand on any given night.

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Grimes Helped Contain Jaylen Brown But Burned By Jayson Tatum

Grimes’ primary assignment was on Tatum, and that did not go exactly as planned. Tatum erupted for 34 points and gave Grimes a hard day at the office.

However, when switched onto Brown, he held his own in the opportunities given to him. He helped the Knicks hold Brown to 11 points on 4-11 shooting and a scoreless fourth quarter. Grimes also forced Brown to commit a shooting foul on him after coughing up two consecutive turnovers down the stretch that almost blew the game for Boston.

Grimes was not much of a contributor in the rebounding or distributing department and was also a -1 on the night. He will likely be assigned the opposing team’s best scorer on a nightly basis to spell for volume scorers Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett.

The Knicks will need Grimes to maintain his hot hand and slow down a dynamic backcourt of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray when they take on the Atlanta Hawks tonight at 7:30 pm EST.