Donte DiVincenzo Stepping Up When Knicks Need Him Most

Donte DiVincenzo, Knicks, NBA
Feb 6, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) dribbles in front of Memphis Grizzlies guard John Konchar (46) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks ascension up the rankings in the NBA has been focused a lot on the performance of Jalen Brunson, and rightfully so. Brunson has turned himself into an All-Star and All-NBA caliber player and has earned the MVP chants being rained down from the MSG rafters when he shoots free throws.

But, Brunson would also be the first person to tell you that his success and the winning the team is doing is not solely because of him. It takes a total team effort and his teammates have helped elevate him to this level.

One of the teammates who has been helping out recently is Donte DiVincenzo. Since being inserted into the starting lineup in place of Quentin Grimes on December 8th, his production has skyrocketed.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Donte DiVincenzo & New York Knicks Updates

The chemistry DiVincenzo built with Brunson during their collegiate days at Villanova has been on full display. He has embraced his role as a floor spacer and opportunistic defender, providing Brunson and Julius Randle outlets and making the most of his chances.

With injuries ravaging the lineup in recent games, Tom Thibodeau has been relying heavily on his starters to play big minutes. That includes DiVincenzo, who has played 38+ minutes in five straight games. 

The big minutes have been necessary with Randle and OG Anunoby each missing the last five games. Quentin Grimes has missed the last three, joining Mitchell Robinson on the sidelines, who has been out since early December.

With so many rotation players sidelined, the Knicks have needed other guys to step up. DiVincenzo has been one of the players to answer the call, replacing the scoring production Randle had been bringing to the team.

Over the last five games, DiVincenzo has been on a tear. He has scored at least 20 points in all four games, knocking down 28-of-71 3-point attempts over that stretch. That is elite shooting on a high volume, picking up the slack with the team’s starting forward combination injured.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Donte DiVincenzo & New York Knicks Updates

He is doing more than scoring, as DiVincenzo has handed out at least three assists in all five games as well. Nine steals and four blocks have been recorded and he has shot 51-of-110 overall, for 46.4 percent.

The Knicks could not have asked for much more from DiVincenzo, who has turned into one of the more lethal 3-point shooters in the NBA. Against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night, he came up huge for the team down the stretch.

With Brunson heading to the sidelines because of an ankle injury, it was on DiVincenzo to carry the team to the finish line. A 28-point lead was cut down to as little as four in the fourth quarter, but he settled things down with some timely baskets to close out the game.

DiVincenzo did his best Brunson impersonation, scoring the team’s last five points of the game and eight of their last 10. His emergence has helped keep the Knicks among the elite teams in the NBA despite a rash of injuries, as they are a half-game behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for No. 2 in the Eastern Conference.

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