Knicks Mcbride

Deuce McBride and the Knicks Who Stepped Up

Injuries can have tremendous impact on season expectations. But sometimes, it creates unlikely heroes who step up and make a name for themselves. Deuce McBride, a second-round draft pick for the New York Knicks in 2021, has been making his mark on the team. His emergence has come with tough defense and impressive shooting skills as the Knicks navigate the challenging landscape of the NBA. McBride’s emergence as a key player has been a catalyst for why the Knicks sit as the four seed in the Eastern Conference. 

Deuce McBride’s Breakthrough Performances

Deuce McBride’s offensive game has taken a significant leap this season, showcasing his growth as a dynamic two-way player. His three-point shooting percentage has skyrocketed from 32% to nearly 40%. To add to that, his efficiency on shots within 10 feet of the basket has reached an impressive 71%. McBride’s sharpshooting and quick decision making have made him a more versatile threat. Whether he’s starting or contributing to the Knicks’ bench, he has been delivering consistently.

In a game against the Raptors, he drained nine three-pointers. McBride’s impact was also evident in the Knicks’ victory against the Golden State Warriors. Thibs let him run for 47 minutes and he contributed significantly on both ends of the floor. 

Some of McBride’s notable achievements include:

  • Career-high 29 points and franchise record of six three-pointers in the first quarter against the Toronto Raptors on March 23, 2023.
  • 18 points, four made three-pointers, two blocks, and 75% field goal shooting against the Portland Trail Blazers.
  • 16 points, 5 assists, and crucial defense against Darius Garland in a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  • Averaging 17 points over eight games with more than 35 minutes of playtime, including six games with 40+ minutes.

McBride’s recent performances have solidified his role as a key player for the Knicks, with his points per game increasing from 1.6 in November to a career-high 12.8 in March. McBride’s emergence as a reliable two-way player could be the secret weapon they need to make a deep run. 

Supporting Cast Contributions

While Deuce McBride’s breakout performances have been major, the contributions of the supporting cast cannot be overlooked. Several key players have stepped up and played crucial roles in the team’s success:

  1. Donte Dinvencenzo: He has been a flamethrower and game-changer for the Knicks. His ability to score from beyond the arc has been pivotal. He has only gotten better since he entered the starting lineup. He recently set a franchise record with 11 three-pointers in a single game. His scoring sprees have provided the Knicks with much-needed offensive boosts.
  2. Josh Hart: Hart has been a rebounding force, showcasing his versatility on both ends of the court. His defensive prowess and hustle plays make him a valuable asset. He’s also been a triple-double machine.
  3. Isaiah Hartenstein: Despite battling an Achilles injury, Hartenstein’s return to health has seen him become a defensive anchor. His shot-blocking and rebounding skills fortify the Knicks’ interior defense. As he regains his rhythm, his performance on the court might earn him the starting job full-time.

The Knicks’ current rotation has seen guys been plugged into the starting lineup have stayed ready when called upon. As their roles have gotten larger, it appears their performance only elevates. 

The Role of Coaching and Strategy

The Knicks coaching staff has been instrumental in developing a plan that maximizes the team’s strengths and minimizes their weaknesses. Head coach Tom Thibodeau and his assistants have focused on creating a cohesive unit that plays to the strengths of each individual player.

One of the most effected players is Alec Burks, and not in a positive way. Despite being acquired at the deadline, the Knicks have been better with McBride taking those minutes. The synergy of the starting lineup with Brunson, McBride, Donte, Hartenstein and Hart has led to explosive plays and a high level of scoring. All of this while maintaining the status of the best defensive group in the month of March. The coaching staff has recognized the effectiveness of these players and have designed plays that capitalize on their chemistry and skill sets.

The Knicks have also been smart about their future, focusing on building the team slowly and carefully while holding onto all of their draft picks. All of the sudden, McBride’s three year, $13 million extension seems to be one of the best value contracts in the NBA. Another win for Leon Rose and the Knicks front office.

Future Implications

The New York Knicks have found a gem in Deuce McBride, whose breakout performances have critical this season. His tenacious defense, improved shooting, and overall growth as a player have made him a key contributor to the team’s success. Also kudos to a young player who stayed ready for his number to be called on. Alongside McBride, the Knicks’ theme of the season revolves around players stepping up. With players like Josh Hart, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Donte Divencenzo, they are setting the stage for what could be an awesome playoff run. 

The Knicks’ coaching staff deserves credit for developing a strategic game plan that maximizes the team’s strengths and fosters a culture of inclusivity and empowerment. As the Knicks continue to build their roster and refine their strategy, they have the potential to become a formidable force in the Eastern Conference. With a mix of established stars, promising young talent, and the emergence of players like Deuce McBride, Knicks fans are waiting for the returns of Julius Randle and OG Anunoby. 


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