New York Knicks Need To Keep Miles McBride In Rotation

Miles McBride, Knicks, NBA
Feb 22, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) dribbles the ball against Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have experienced the hard way just how much of a marathon the NBA regular season is. They have been faced with a lot of adversity in recent weeks given how many injuries the team has had to battle through.

At points leading up to the NBA All-Star Break, New York was down to only five healthy players on full-time NBA deals, with the three other eligible players being on 10-day contracts or two-way players from the G League.

While it was certainly a far from ideal situation to be in, it provided a chance to other players to step into the rotation and show what they could do. One of those players was point guard, Miles McBride.

McBride was given a golden opportunity following the Knicks blockbuster trade with the Toronto Raptors ahead of the new year. With RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley on their way out of town, minutes were available in the backcourt behind Jalen Brunson.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Miles McBride & New York Knicks Updates

The first player to receive the chance to replace Quickley as Brunson’s backup was McBride. New York was so confident that he would get the job done that they worked out a three-year extension with him after the trade was completed.

As his role grew with the team, McBride’s confidence and production increased as well. There were some nights, especially when Brunson was sidelined, he was thrust into larger roles and he handled them well. In each of the three starts he has made this season, McBride has recorded a new career high in scoring.

McBride has made strides offensively, knocking down 40 percent of his 3-point attempts this season. But, whatever he gives you on offense is icing on the cake, as McBride’s calling card is his defensive ability.

A tenacious defender, McBride will have a job in the NBA for a long time for the work he puts in on that end of the court. He is a legitimate difference-maker at the point of attack, just ask Philadelphia 76ers’ All-Star point guard Tyrese Maxey how unenjoyable it is to play against him.

In the Knicks’ first game out of the NBA All-Star Break on Thursday night, they had to go on the road to face the 76ers. With Philadelphia gaining all the momentum and cutting what was once a 26-point lead down to sixth in the fourth quarter.

After giving up only 46 points in the first half, New York surrendered 35 in the third quarter. Requiring stops in the worst way, Tom Thibodeau turned to McBride, who answered the call when the team needed him most.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Miles McBride & New York Knicks Updates

McBride played the entire fourth quarter and matched up against Maxey throughout the final stanza. A big reason they were able to hold on is because of how well McBride defended the All-Star.

As shared by The Strickland on X, McBride held Maxey scoreless in the fourth quarter last night. In their two matchups this season, Maxey is set to score a point when McBride is his primary defender. Tommy Beer on X, McBride matched up against Maxey for 17 possessions and been successful in slowing him down.

There aren’t many players in the NBA that can stake a claim to being able to keep Maxey in check. He is averaging 25.9 points per game this season and fills it up on a nightly basis. But, McBride has found a way to keep him off the scoreboard, aiding the Knicks in picking up two impressive victories on the road in Philadelphia this season.

When the roster is healthy, Thibodeau is going to have some difficult decisions to make with the rotation. Roles will change for players, but he needs to find a way to keep McBride in the lineup as his defensive is too impactful to not play him every game.

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