Miles McBride Saved Knicks vs. Cavaliers Without Jalen Brunson

Miles McBride, Knicks, NBA
Mar 3, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) celebrates his three-point basket in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

47 seconds into their matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night, the 2023-24 NBA season looked to go down the drain for the New York Knicks. Their All-Star point guard, Jalen Brunson, went down in pain. He immediately clutched his left knee and fans began thinking the worst.

A non-contact injury is about as bad as it gets for an athlete. There is a lot that can go wrong with a knee and Knicks fans began bracing for the worst as Brunson needed help getting to the locker room.

While everyone’s focus was on Brunson’s health, there was still a game to be played. He was injured on the team’s first offensive possession of the game, meaning Tom Thibodeau would be short-handed once again in the backcourt.

Shake Milton, who had been waived from the Detroit Pistons earlier in the weekend, is planning to join the Knicks but has not yet cleared waivers. With Alec Burks semi in Tom Thibodeau’s doghouse, it was Miles McBride who was called upon to replace Brunson in the lineup.

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

Being in and out of the rotation isn’t an easy thing for a player to handle, but McBride has handled the role about as well as you could expect. Whenever his number has been called, you know what he is going to do.

Known for his stellar defense, McBride has grown offensively this season as well. He has set his career-high for points on three separate occasions stepping into the starting lineup for Brunson. On Sunday, he didn’t set another career-high for points, but he saved New York.

McBride checked into the game with 11:13 remaining in the first quarter and never checked back out. Thibodeau rode him for the entirety of the game and his performance was one of the reasons the Knicks picked up the upset victory.

In 47:13, McBride scored 16 points, including four 3-pointers. One of them came in the waning seconds of the game to help the Knicks ice the victory. He also handed out five assists without a turnover, as his confidence in running the team’s offense grows on a nightly basis.

McBride has turned himself into a deadly pull-up jump shooter, routinely getting to his spot in the mid-range and knocking down shots. You cannot leave him open on the perimeter, as he has improved immensely as a 3-point shooter as well, connecting on 40.1 percent of his attempts this season.

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

As Evan Mobley learned the hard way, McBride can also get to the basket. In what was one of the most impressive highlights of the NBA season, McBride dropped Mobley with an impressive in-and-out dribble move, getting to the basket for an uncontested layup.

That certainly looks like a player oozing with confidence, which is a good thing for the Knicks. McBride will be called upon to step into the lineup should Brunson have to miss any time, and his performance will be vital to the team staying afloat.

Missing multiple NBA All-Stars and starters is not easy for any team to overcome. But, when you can turn to a player such as McBride to help overcome those losses, you have to feel good about your chances to remain competitive on any given night.

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