Popper notes that McBride is trying to make an instant impact to prove his mettle as a contributor, seizing upon every preseason opportunity to showcase his abilities on the defensive end of the floor. To wit, he logged six steals in under 23 minutes during New York’s first preseason game Tuesday.
“I always want to bring a defensive presence first,” McBride said. “I feel like that gets my offense going… Thibs controls the minutes… And I’m obviously going to do anything I can to get on the floor and make a great impression.”
There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:
- Third-year Raptors reserve point guard Malachi Flynn had a “procedure” to repair a left cheekbone fracture he incurred during a weekend preseason game, reports Michael Grange of Sportsnet. Grange adds that Flynn should be back with Toronto ahead of the team’s regular season opener, albeit while donning a face shield.
- Nets head coach Steve Nash asserts that newly re-signed Brooklyn center Nic Claxton has evolved in the way he develops his game, writes Ethan Sears of The New York Post. “His attention to detail, his consistency, I think you see the benefits,” Nash observed. “It feels like he can play longer stretches at high intensity. He’s a little stronger, more physical in traffic. We’re just gonna keep growing his understanding of the game and situational awareness.”
- Following an isolation-heavy few years with All-Stars Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant at the helm, the Nets are now focusing on a more pass-happy approach to their offense, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “You look at some of our possessions last year, it was a lot of one-on-one,” Irving said. “You guys [reporters] talked about it often and we were well aware of it that that offense when the ball sticks it’s just not the greatest brand of basketball you can play.”