The New York Knicks have strung together three consecutive wins in recent days, overcoming the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings, and Dallas Mavericks, scoring over 107 points per game.
In the team’s most recent victory over Dallas, Julius Randle scored 26 points, and RJ Barrett contributed 18. The entire team dominated, holding the Mavericks starters to just 56 total points, 31 of which came from Luca Doncic.
Tom Thibodeau’s squad has struggled considerably this season to remain consistent, currently, 10 games below .500 and 3.5 games out of the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference, held by the Atlanta Falcons.
However, with the Knicks stringing together a few wins, more good news is on the way, as rookie shooting guard Quentin Grimes is preparing to make a return in the coming days.
“It was my first injury that I’ve been sidelined for more than a week,’’ Grimes said, via Marc Berman of the NY Post. “So it was crazy when it happened, but it wasn’t as bad as everybody thought it was. I think I was playing a little too hard, and I just like dislocated a little bit and it went right back in and I rolled over.’’
Luckily, Grimes wasn’t injured too badly, simply dislocated his knee, which required a few weeks of rest.
“They told me what it looked like, so I didn’t want to see it,’’ Grimes said. “I felt it. It was on the side of my knee. Then it came back in when I rolled over. So luckily it wasn’t too bad.’’
On the season, Grimes is averaging 3.6 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and is shooting nearly 40% from three point range. While his scoring production has been second-tier, his defensive contributions are extremely important to the Knicks’ success. The team allowed Elfird Payton and Reggie Bullock to walk in the off-season, declining their defensive quality tremendously.
Grimes currently hosts a 105 defensive rating, one of the better numbers on the team. His aggressive, on-ball style puts enormous pressure on opposing offensive players, which is exactly what Thibodeau prefers.
Given the Knicks can continue their streak of success and get Grimes back, who’s to say they can’t make a run at the final spot in the play-in tournament?