Miles McBride

Atlantic Notes: DiVincenzo, Randle, Nets, Ramsey

With a short-handed lineup and a poor shooting day from Jalen Brunson, the Knicks relied on their complementary players to get past Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. Donte DiVincenzo played “maybe his best game” since signing with New York last summer, according to coach Tom Thibodeau, scoring 31 points and closing out the victory with a 13-point fourth quarter.

“I wasn’t even paying attention to the score,” DiVincenzo said. “I was just trying to make the right play, be aggressive, and the right play they were giving me [was] space at the rim, and I took advantage of it. I didn’t know the score. I was just trying get stops and play the right way.” 

The Knicks also got a huge effort from guard Miles McBride, who scored 26 points while playing all 48 minutes, and center Isaiah Hartenstein, who battled through Achilles soreness to contribute 17 points and nine rebounds.

“It says a lot about them and I love the mental toughness of our team, the ability to persevere through things,” Thibodeau said. “When things aren’t going our way, just keep going, then make it go our way and then in the end, find a way to win, whatever it is that we gotta do, that’s what we have to do. And it’s a credit to them. That’s the makeup of these guys and their willingness to commit to play for the team first and put everything they have into it.” 

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks forward Julius Randle still hasn’t been cleared for full contact as he works his way back from a dislocated shoulder, according to Ian Begley of SNY (video link). Randle has been in a holding pattern for several weeks, able to do everything except participate in contact drills.
  • Interim Nets coach Kevin Ollie was unhappy with his team’s level of competitiveness in today’s loss, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Brooklyn collapsed in the fourth quarter while dropping its sixth straight game. “You have to counter-punch … talking, loose balls, offensive rebounding. It has nothing to do with talent and it has nothing to do with the ball going in. It’s those little things we have to get better on, we have to double down on. That’s the only way we’re going to win,” Ollie said. “I talked to them about that: How’s your stamina? Not just your wind, I mean from a competitive standpoint. That has to be there every single minute for us to win, and it wasn’t.” 
  • Jahmi’us Ramsey‘s second 10-day contract with the Raptors will expire on Saturday night, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. Lewenberg expects the 22-year-old shooting guard to be signed for the rest of the season, probably with a partial guarantee for 2024/25.

Atlantic Notes: Tatum, Maxey, McBride, Thomas

Celtics star Jayson Tatum played in his 65th game of the season on Wednesday against Milwaukee, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. That means the 26-year-old will be eligible for postseason awards, including All-NBA.

As Marks observes, Tatum already met the performance criteria for a super-max extension by a earning spot on the All-NBA First Team each of the past two seasons. However, he needed one more year of service time to meet the experience requirement. Tatum will be eligible to sign what is projected to be the most lucrative extension in league history at the beginning of July.

If that comes to fruition, which is highly likely, Tatum will be the second Celtic on a Designated Veteran contract, also known as the super-max. Jaylen Brown signed his own super-max extension last summer.

Tatum is having another excellent season in 2023/24, averaging 27.1 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 4.9 APG and 1.0 SPG on .474/.382/.830 shooting in his 65 appearances (35.7 MPG) for Boston, which holds (by far) the best record in the NBA at 55-14.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey had scored exactly 30 points in three straight games entering Wednesday’s contest vs. Phoenix, but registered a season-low six points in 30 minutes during the loss to the Suns, notes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (subscriber link). Maxey, a first-time All-Star who will be a restricted free agent in the offseason, shot just 3-of-13 from the floor. Philadelphia is currently 38-31, the No. 8 seed in the East, but the team only trails No. 6 Indiana by a half-game (one win).
  • In a subscriber-only story for The New York Post, Stefan Bondy details how Miles McBride‘s diligent work ethic has helped him stay ready for big minutes when called upon. The Knicks guard had a career-high 29 points (on 9-of-13 shooting) in 47 minutes on Monday while being tasked with shadowing Stephen Curry. As Bondy writes, McBride comes from a family of athletes — his father Walt was a professional player and coach. “I was a defender,” said Walt. “His brother (Trey, a pro in Germany) is a defender. His mom was a tennis player, so that lateral movement is also important to defending.”
  • The Nets have had a disappointing season, currently holding a 26-43 record. But the development of third-year guard Cam Thomas continues to be a bright spot for Brooklyn, writes Dan Martin of The New York Post. Over the past six games, Thomas is averaging 26.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 3.3 APG on .475/.405/.848 shooting (34.2 MPG), and he’s one of just a few players who have excelled under interim head coach Kevin Ollie, Martin notes. “It’s my first year really playing, actually figuring out how an NBA game actually works,” said Thomas, who called his playing time in his first two seasons “sporadic.” “They say Year 3 (for me), but it’s really like my rookie season. Being a key player on the scouting report instead of, my first two years, I was probably popping up sporadically, surprising teams off-guard with my scoring outbursts.”

Knicks Notes: Anunoby, McBride, DiVincenzo, Brunson

The Knicks sent OG Anunoby back to New York for another MRI on his surgically repaired right elbow, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. Anunoby, who underwent a procedure on February 8 to have loose bone fragments removed, returned to the lineup last week. He managed to play three games, but often looked uncomfortable and shot just 1-of-8 at Sacramento on Saturday. After he was downgraded to out for Monday’s game against Golden State, the team decided to have him go home for more testing.

“He’s coming back from surgery. We want to make sure that he’s completely healthy,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We knew this was a possibility when you bring a guy back from surgery. If there’s discomfort and stuff and he can’t function the way that we feel he needs to function on the court we’re just going to give him the time that he needs to let it calm down and we’ll go from there.”

The Knicks will wrap up their road trip Thursday at Denver, and Anunoby is expected to miss that game as well. Thibodeau declined to speculate that Anunoby might have returned from surgery before he was fully ready.

“You can’t work backward,” he told reporters. “There were many steps he had to go through. He met all the markers and he was cleared. This is a possibility whenever you come back from surgery, this is what you’re looking at. And so, we feel good about where he is. Just give him the time that he needs.”

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • Miles McBride turned in a career night in leading New York to a win over the Warriors, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. McBride scored 29 points in 46 minutes and served as the primary defender on Stephen Curry for most of his time on the court. “He was huge for us, obviously,” Josh Hart said. “Everyone’s gonna see the box score and see he shot the ball very well and was very efficient, but he did that while guarding Steph, pressuring him, running around with him all game. So he was huge for us and something that we need.”
  • Donte DiVincenzo broke out of a shooting slump with 18 points in his first game back in San Francisco after playing for the Warriors last season, Bondy adds. DiVincenzo said he asked for Curry’s advice before signing with the Knicks last summer. “If you played with him, wouldn’t you want to?” DiVincenzo said. “That’s pretty much as simple as it was. I had a relationship with him on and off the court. Obviously, I value his opinion.”
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Jalen Brunson is “high on the list” for a spot on Team USA for the Summer Olympics, Bondy states in a separate story. Brunson is part of a 41-player pool that will have to be trimmed down to 12.

Knicks Notes: Offensive Struggles, Anunoby, Randle, Milton, Rotation

The Knicks played their worst game of the season and posted their lowest offensive total in nearly six years in Sunday’s 79-73 loss to Philadelphia, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. It was the fewest points scored by any NBA team in 2023/24, barely eclipsing the 74 points that New York held Orlando to Friday night, and Knicks players were honest about their performance.

“We played like [expletive],” Josh Hart said. “I mean, we obviously didn’t shoot the ball well. Turnovers bad. I think I had six or seven myself … But we’ve got to try to flush it. Got them again on Tuesday. Try to come out and play better.”

The Knicks shot 32.5% from the field and committed 19 turnovers, with All-Star Jalen Brunson going just 6-of-22. The game had a late-1990s feel to it, Popper observes, including a fourth quarter altercation between Donte DiVincenzo and Kelly Oubre that led to a shoving match involving several players.

DiVincenzo refused to comment on the scuffle, but Oubre said, “All of that stuff’s funny to me. I don’t know why. I just laugh, because nobody’s gonna fight.”

There’s more from New York:

  • Coach Tom Thibodeau said OG Anunoby will travel with the team when it departs for the West Coast on Thursday, per Ian Begley of SNY (Twitter link). There’s hope that Anunoby will be able to return soon from a right elbow injury that has sidelined him since January 27. Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson will also make the trip, but there are concerns about why Randle still hasn’t been cleared for contact, Begley adds.
  • Randle missed his 18th game of the season Sunday night, which means he won’t receive a $1.28MM bonus for appearing in 65 games, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. Randle’s contract includes the same bonus for next season, which will now be considered unlikely. His cap hit will be adjusted to $28.9MM and the team will receive a $1.28MM tax variance credit for this season, Marks adds.
  • Shake Milton has only played one minute in three games since signing with the Knicks last week, but Thibodeau is urging him to be patient, according to Peter Botte of The New York Post. “Just fit in and stay ready. Trades are hard in the middle of the season. You gotta learn the system,” Thibodeau said. “But I like what I’ve seen from him in terms of his attitude, his approach. He’s been very, very good.”
  • In a separate story, Popper examines what the Knicks’ rotation might look like if everyone is healthy. He notes that a potential starting five of Brunson, DiVincenzo, Anunoby, Randle and Robinson hasn’t played together yet. If that’s the starting unit, Popper expects Hart, Isaiah Hartenstein and Miles McBride to be the first three reserves. It’s tougher to determine who’s next in line, as Precious Achiuwa, Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, Jericho Sims and Milton will all be competing for limited minutes.

Knicks Notes: McBride, Hart, Milton, Schedule

With Knicks All-Star guard Jalen Brunson nursing a left knee contusion, backup Miles McBride has been thrust into an iron man role, Peter Botte of the New York Post writes.

McBride has been on the court for at least 40 minutes in three of the last four games. After playing 47 minutes and 13 seconds against the Cavaliers on Sunday — when Brunson was injured during the opening minute — McBride logged 45 minutes and 38 seconds in a loss to the Hawks on Tuesday.

“I’m glad Coach (Tom Thibodeau) trusts me to be playing me those minutes. Just wish we would’ve got the job done,” said McBride, who signed a three-year extension in late December. “Honestly, I feel fine. I think I’m more mad about losing than worrying about how my body feels.”

We have more on the Knicks:

  • Wing Josh Hart is the league’s top rebounder among player who stand 6’7” or less. Hart is just 6’4” but he’s pulled down an average of 7.6 rebounds per game. “Josh is the king of stealing rebounds,” Donte DiVincenzo told Stefan Bondy of the New York Post. “He loves stealing them. But I don’t care. As long as we get it, he can steal them all day long.”
  • Shake Milton has looked for guidance from Knicks executive William Wesley during his career and that played a factor in his decision to sign with the Knicks, Ian Begley of SNY TV tweets. Milton became a free agent when the Pistons, who acquired the reserve guard at the trade deadline, bought him out. “He’s there anytime I need him. Whether it’s to talk, do whatever. He’s always there,” Milton said of Wesley.
  • The banged-up Knicks have three pivotal games coming up, Botte notes. Looking to avoid the play-in tournament, the Knicks face the Magic on Friday and the Sixers on Sunday and Tuesday. “Obviously, you don’t want to be in the play-in. You’d like to have that three or five days of rest going into the first round,” Hart said. The team is hopeful Brunson can return soon but frontcourt regulars Julius Randle, OG Anunoby and Mitchell Robinson remain out, though Randle and Anunoby have been cleared for basketball activities.

Atlantic Notes: Simmons, McBride, Tillman, Celtics

The left lower back nerve impingement that is currently keeping Ben Simmons on the shelf is the same issue that affected him earlier this season, according to Ian Begley of and Brian Lewis of The New York Post, who confirm that the Nets guard/forward didn’t suffer a new impingement.

Simmons’ agent Bernie Lee, referring to his client as day-to-day, said he continues to seek answers on how to get Simmons past this health issue, which has affected the former No. 1 overall pick for multiple seasons.

“We continue to try and find non-surgical options to allow Ben to move forward on a permanent basis and that is where this is my responsibility and I am (the) one to blame,” Lee said. “When I began working with Ben I made a commitment to him that I would do everything I could to find the right answers and specialists for him to work with (in order) to move forward from the issues he has been having. Clearly it hasn’t happened, and that’s my responsibility.

“… Come the offseason, we’re going to implement some processes and outside input that’ll allow him to finally move forward from this ongoing issue and resume his career at the levels he’s established prior to being injured.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • The Knicks aren’t surprised by the strides that Miles McBride has made as a shooter this season, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic, who notes that the third-year guard is making a strong case for rotation minutes even when everyone is healthy. As Stefan Bondy of The New York Post observes, the signing of Shake Milton will give New York another option in an increasingly crowded backcourt. However, Katz suggests that Milton is viewed as a depth piece and that McBride’s performance should keep him ahead of Milton – and Alec Burks – on the team’s depth chart.
  • Celtics newcomer Xavier Tillman has made a positive impression on his new teammates, according to Brian Robb of and Jay King of The Athletic. Tillman played just three total minutes in his first seven games as a Celtic (he missed four of those games while recovering from a knee injury), but has scored 13 points across 33 minutes and been a +26 in Boston’s past two games. “X looked good out there, man,” Jaylen Brown said after Friday’s win over Dallas. “It’s like, he fit right in. He came right in and made contributions on defense, got a few rebounds, got some stops. Offense, you could tell he got a good feel for the game. A good screen setter.”
  • The Celtics‘ offensive success this season stems in large part from the fact that their top eight players are all reliable three-point shooters on relatively high volume, writes John Hollinger of The Athletic. Hollinger considers whether it’s just a matter of time until the NBA features several more teams that look like the Celtics or whether Boston is an anomaly due to the difficulty of building a roster that has that many shooters and still plays strong defense.

Knicks Notes: Brunson, McBride, Randle, Anunoby, Hart

The left knee injury that knocked Jalen Brunson out of Sunday’s game in the first minute appears to be minor, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. There was extreme concern when Brunson had to be helped off the court after air-balling a jump shot and falling to the ground in pain. However, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters that X-rays came back negative and hinted that Brunson might be available for Tuesday’s game against Atlanta.

“Anytime someone goes down like that you have concern, but then he felt a little better, he had the X-rays, he was examined by the doctors and so that news is good,” Thibodeau said. “… “I guess [it’s possible that he plays Tuesday against the Hawks]. It’s a knee contusion and everything was negative so we’ll see where he is [Monday].”

Replays showed that Brunson was injured when he collided with teammate Isaiah Hartenstein while running around a screen, Bondy adds. He appeared to suffer a jolt of pain as he released the jumper and called for the trainer as he grabbed his knee and shin area.

Donte DiVincenzo told Bondy that Brunson didn’t appear concerned after the game.

“I asked him if he was OK. And he said he’ll be fine. And that’s everything to me,” DiVincenzo said. “Like I said the last time he went down [with a sprained ankle earlier in the season], I don’t worry about Jalen. He’s one of the toughest guys in the league. … Whatever it is, he’s going to bounce back. He’s tough as nails.”

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • New York was able to pick up an important road win without Brunson because of the gritty play of Miles McBride, Bondy states in a separate story. The backup guard replaced Brunson after the injury and never came out, logging more than 47 minutes while serving as the primary defender on Darius Garland and sinking a clutch three-pointer in the game’s final minute. “I feel fine honestly. That’s what I put in the offseason work for. I prepare my body for this,” he said. “You never know what’s going to happen. [Brunson] should be fine hopefully, but got to be ready for anything.”
  • Thibodeau said Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and OG Anunoby all took “the next step” on Sunday by traveling with the team for the first time since going down their respective injuries, Bondy adds in another piece. Randle and Anunoby have been cleared for basketball activities, and Bondy says there’s continued optimism that Randle will be able to avoid surgery on his dislocated right shoulder.
  • Josh Hart tied his career high with 19 rebounds as part of a triple-double on Sunday. He also took a playful jab at the Cavaliers’ bench after nailing a corner three-pointer with 1:36 remaining, grabbing at a chain worn by Donovan Mitchell, who was in street clothes, per Steve Popper of Newsday. “Me just kinda being a competitor and just having fun, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s tough,’” Hart said he told the bench. “And then I saw Donovan and obviously that’s my guy and then I saw the chain and I was like, ‘Ooh! That’s nice!’ But nah, I wanna play this game with competitiveness but also grace and joy.”

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Brunson, McBride, Simmons

The Celtics fell at home to the undermanned Lakers on Thursday, resulting in some of Boston’s starters being benched in the midst of a bad stretch in the second half. According to’s Brian Robb, center Kristaps Porzingis had no issues with the decision.

We deserved it,” Porzingis said. “Of course we were pissed off. We’re pissed off at ourselves and I completely understood. I never want to come out of the game, but I completely understood we had to change something.

All-Star guard Jaylen Brown, who was also benched in the second half, shared similar sentiments after Boston fell to an L.A. team that was playing without LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

I haven’t been in that position too often, so it kind of is what it is,” Brown said. “We weren’t playing our best, I wasn’t playing my best, so nothing I can really say there. Every time I step on the court, I try to add to winning. Tonight, I tried to make sure I was being unselfish, hitting the guys in stride, sharing the ball. But I was a little lackadaisical, it wasn’t my best game. But I’ll put it behind me and get ready for the next one.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks All-Star guard Jalen Brunson accepted an invitation to participate in the Three-Point Contest during All-Star Weekend, according to TNT and Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes (Twitter link). Brunson has a shot to be the first Knicks player to ever win the event.
  • The Knicks have leaned on Miles McBride more since trading away Immanuel Quickley, and he’s rewarding their faith in him with improved offensive play. Since Dec. 30, McBride is averaging 8.5 points while shooting 46.6% from three — a vast improvement over the 28.2% clip he connected at during the first two years of his career. “Honestly, it’s all about my belief. I feel like I was taking the same shots, and now I’m just getting a little bit more of an opportunity,” McBride said, per The New York Post’s Peter Botte. “The organization and the coaching staff continued to believe in me, and it was just about me consistently working on my shot. I put in the work and it’s showing.
  • Ben Simmons returned for the Nets on Monday, recording 10 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in his first game since early November. However, he was ruled out the following game against Phoenix on Wednesday with a knee contusion. He’s expected to play on Saturday against the Sixers and is listed as probable on the injury report, according to SNY’s Ian Begley (Twitter link). C.J. Holmes of New York Daily News tweets Simmons was a partial participant at practice on Friday and was set to receive treatments that night and Saturday morning.

New York Notes: Thomas, Dinwiddie, DSJ, Walker, Brunson, McBride

Following his eighth game since being moved from the Nets‘ starting lineup to the bench, Cam Thomas was asked after Monday’s loss to Miami whether he has gained a feel for the rotation patterns and whether he’s gained a “comfortability” with them. Thomas quickly replied with a blunt “no,” then paused for a few seconds before continuing (Twitter video link via Erik Slater of Clutch Points).

“I mean, it could change,” Thomas said. “I’m just doing my job. I’m just doing what I need to do when I get out there to produce. No, I don’t really have no comfortability coming off the bench or starting. Whatever (head coach Jacque Vaughn) wants me to do, that’s what I’m gonna do.”

Thomas subsequently clarified that he meant he doesn’t feel any complacency, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

Thomas has had a few big nights since moving back to the bench, including scoring 26 points last Thursday and 23 on Monday. But he has also had 0-for-11 and 0-for-7 performances during that eight-game stretch and is shooting just .339/.263/.700 since being removed from the starting five. Brooklyn has lost seven of those eight contests.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • Veteran Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie continues to start, but played a limited role for a second straight game on Monday, logging just 20 minutes after playing only 16 on Thursday in Cleveland. As Lewis of The New York Post notes, Dennis Smith Jr. has been one beneficiary of Vaughn’s rotation tweaks — Smith played 32 minutes on Monday. “I’ve always talked about this being performance-based,” Vaughn said. “I thought Dennis had a good attack for us defensively. We’re just in a position right now where you have to perform, and that’s across the board. So that’s a challenge to the entire group from the beginning of the game to the end to be locked-in and to give everything you have on both ends of the floor.”
  • After Lonnie Walker scored 20 points in 25 minutes in last Thursday’s loss to the Cavs, Jared Schwartz of The New York Post wondered if the Nets might need to make more room for the veteran wing in the rotation. However, Walker has gone scoreless on 0-of-8 shooting in 21 total minutes in his other three appearances since returning from a hamstring injury.
  • Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson missed a second consecutive game on Monday due to a calf contusion, but his return doesn’t appear far off. Head coach Tom Thibodeau suggested that the issue is more about “pain tolerance” than concern about the risk of re-injury, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Post. “It’s day-to-day,” Thibodeau said. “It’s a little better today. When he’s ready, he’s ready.”
  • With Brunson unavailable, Miles McBride got another start at point guard and set a new career high in points for the second time in three days, putting up 20 in a loss to Orlando. However, he blamed himself for the loss, citing his game management in a fourth quarter in which the Knicks scored just 16 points, per Bridget Reilly of The New York Post. “I’d say it’s my fault as a point guard. I needed to get everybody where they needed to be and manage the game a little bit better at the end,” McBride said. “… I gotta make sure I get everybody where they need to be and take control.”

Atlantic Notes: McBride, Nets, Simmons, Embiid, Melton

Miles McBride‘s role has been expanding since the Knicks traded Immanuel Quickley to Toronto, so he was ready when he made his first start of the season on Saturday night, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. With Jalen Brunson sidelined by a calf injury, McBride responded by scoring a career-high 19 points in a win at Memphis.

“I mean, you prepare,” McBride said. “In the summer doing a lot of long workouts, a lot of running, just knowing at some point it’s a long season and your name is going to be called. So you’ve got to do whatever you can do to be prepared as much as you can.”

McBride hasn’t been able to earn consistent playing time since New York drafted him in 2021, but he was on the court for 38 minutes in Saturday’s game, including the entire second half. He received a three-year, $13MM extension on the day the trade was announced and appears to be secure as part of the Knicks’ future.

“He just plays hard,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s an elite defender. That’s been his strength. That’s been his calling card. He’s proven to be a really good shooter as well. He has a lot of confidence, really works hard on his game. So this is a great opportunity for him. Every time he’s been called upon, he’s been ready and he’s performed well.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets, who opted for small-ball when Nic Claxton was hurt earlier this season, have been forced to go back to that approach due to a knee injury to backup center Day’Ron Sharpe, notes Jared Schwartz of The New York Post. Whenever Claxton rests, coach Jacque Vaughn replaces him with 6’7″ forward Dorian Finney-SmithHarry [Giles] is gonna have to step up, and guys are just gonna have to alter their roles a little bit,” Cameron Johnson said. “The one thing I think would change is you’re gonna see more small-ball. Obviously, [Claxton] has been doing a great job all year holding the paint down, but it’s hard to ask him to play 48 [minutes]. We’ll see how it goes. [Finney-Smith] is one of the best in the league at playing that small-ball 5. When we have it, that’s definitely on the table for us.”
  • The Nets haven’t decided if Ben Simmons will join them for their upcoming West Coast trip, Schwartz adds. Simmons has been sidelined since November 6 with a nerve impingement in his back, but he’s reportedly “in the home stretch” of his recovery process.
  • Joel Embiid will return to the Sixers‘ lineup this afternoon against Houston after missing the past three games with inflammation in his left knee, tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer examines how Embiid’s injury history might affect his legacy.
  • Sixers coach Nick Nurse expects De’Anthony Melton to be sidelined at least a week as he deals with a lumbar injury, per Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link).