Knicks Notes: Anunoby, Flynn, Sims, McBride, Gibson

OG Anunoby had a rough shooting night Friday in Philadelphia, but his defensive impact showed why the Knicks were determined to acquire him, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. Anunoby guarded everyone from Joel Embiid to Tyrese Maxey as New York limited the Sixers to 40.7% from the field, and the Knicks outscored Philadelphia by 20 points in his 37 minutes on the court.

“I think we have a good core that’s been together for a while now. So I think that can absorb people coming in and then a guy like OG is very serious,” coach Tom Thibdoeau said. “He wants to do well, and I think his mind is open. He plays incredibly hard on every possession, so even if it’s not perfect right now, it’s still gonna be good.”

The Knicks have won their first three games since last weekend’s trade, and Anunoby has played a significant role in all of them. His scoring is down slightly and he’s only connecting at 46.9% from the field since coming to New York after Friday’s 3-of-11 performance, but he’s finding other ways to make a difference.

“Your hustle can make up for a lot. And that’s really what he’s doing,” Thibodeau added. “And each day, he’ll get better and better and guys are starting to figure him out, as well. So that takes a little bit of time. But help where you can, hustle, be in passing lanes, get deflections, help out on the boards, play physical, run the floor, move without the ball. Those are things that he does great. And then as time goes on, he’ll find more places where he can get scoring opportunities, too.” 

There’s more from New York:

  • Malachi Flynn, who was also acquired in the Anunoby deal, made his Knicks debut on Friday night, playing just one minute at the end of the game, Bondy adds. Flynn is considered “situational,” which Bondy notes is a word Thibodeau uses to describe players who aren’t in his rotation. Jericho Sims played two minutes Friday, having been bumped from the rotation when New York acquired Precious Achiuwa from Toronto.
  • Miles McBride, who is hoping to establish himself as the team’s new primary back-up point guard, had his best performance since the trade in Friday’s win, per Steve Popper of Newsday. This is McBride’s first opportunity at regular minutes in his three-year career. “I think what I bring to the table is a great thing for the team,” he said. “I think I can push the pace. I can obviously knock down shots and on the defensive end, really get stops and just keep the team positive and be a leader out there.”
  • Thibodeau would be open to making Taj Gibson an assistant coach when the 38-year-old big man is done with his playing career, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic.
View Comments (22)