Knicks’ Grimes Expresses Frustration With Role

Knicks swingman Quentin Grimes has scored just 16 points in his past seven games and has gone scoreless in three of those outings, including Tuesday’s in-season tournament quarterfinal loss to Milwaukee.

Following a game in which he had four times as many personal fouls (4) as shot attempts (1), Grimes expressed some dissatisfaction with his role in the team’s offense, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Post.

“It’s just hard when you go the whole quarter without touching the ball, the whole second quarter without touching the ball, and then you get one shot and you got to make it,” Grimes said. “So it’s tough going out there and just standing in the corner the whole game. Then you got to make the shot when you shoot the ball one or two times per game. It is what it is.”

As Bondy notes, Grimes’ only field goal attempt on Tuesday came in the third quarter. Shortly after that missed three-pointer, he was removed from the lineup and – for a third consecutive game – didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter.

“It feels like if I don’t hit the shot, I’m coming out,” Grimes said. “So every shot I shoot probably weighs like 100 pounds if I don’t make it.”

Grimes started 66 games last season for the Knicks and is one of the team’s best defensive players. He was also a reliable part of the offensive attack in 2022/23, averaging 11.3 points per game with a .468/.386/.796 shooting line. This fall, he’s averaging just 5.8 PPG on .359/.345/.667 shooting and his usage rate has dipped to a career-low 11.7%.

Grimes has started all 18 games he has played this season, and head coach Tom Thibodeau has lauded the 23-year-old’s defense, indicating that he likes his fit with the starting five. But Grimes’ minutes are down and playing alongside ball-dominant players like Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, and RJ Barrett means there are limited offensive opportunities for him.

“I just know last year RJ missed a lot of games. Jalen missed some games. So I had the ball in my hands a little bit more. I knew I wasn’t coming out,” Grimes said. “I knew I was going to be in there and get more shots, play the whole first quarter, the whole third quarter. I knew I had opportunities to get the ball and get my shots up. Now it’s just a matter if the ball come my way, really.”

While Grimes’ teammates sometimes don’t find him when he’s open, the third-year wing could also benefit from being more active on offense, suggests Fred Katz of The Athletic, who notes that a player like Donte DiVincenzo constantly cuts and relocates when he doesn’t have the ball. Grimes could look to do more when his defender sags off of him, Katz writes.

Josh Hart registered some similar complaints about his own role last week and has been on a hot streak since then (13.0 PPG, .656 FG%), with his teammates ribbing him about his usage rate, according to Katz. The Knicks are hoping to get Grimes going too.

“He has a hard job, a tough role,” Randle said. “But we’ve gotta do a better job of trying to get him better looks, make him feel more included for sure.”

“He’s going to get the ball so sometimes when the confidence is low it seems like the end of the world,” Brunson added. “But as teammates we need to pick him up and make sure he gets back on track

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