The Knicks aren’t going down without a fight as they scour their depth chart for answers. Injuries sidelined Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, and Quentin Grimes on Thursday night, but Miles McBride’s much-improved outside touch was a major contributor to the Knicks’ 109-105 Garden victory over the Pacers.
The third-year guard had a dismal 28.2% 3-point shooting percentage in his first two NBA seasons due to inconsistent playing time. However, after making 3 of 8 3-pointers and scoring 16 points in 29 minutes against Indiana, his 3-point shooting percentage has improved dramatically to 45.6% in 36 appearances this season.
To tell you the truth, my belief is everything. The December deal that sent RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to Toronto made McBride a regular in the rotation. “I feel like I was taking the same shots, and now I’m just getting a little bit more of an opportunity,” he said.
It was down to me continually honing my shot, but the organization and coaching staff kept believing in me. The effort I’ve put in is paying off. On the same day that they traded for Anunoby from the Raptors, the Knicks also extended McBride’s contract by three years and $13 million.
In 17 games played since January 1, he has averaged 8.8 points. But here’s the thing: he’s a total gym rat. In practice, we noticed last year that he’s incredibly accurate, so we track all of his shots, Tom Thibodeau explained. It didn’t carry over into the games, but he was never given more playing time than he needed. We had faith that it will translate in due time, and we were right.
In addition to being versatile, he shoots with a lot of self-assurance. He has lightning-fast offensive skills, exceptional defensive play, and the ability to disrupt opponents. During the fourth quarter, when McBride decided to leave the game, he was greeted by the enthusiastic and prolonged chants of his nickname, Deuce, by the Garden crowd.
Maybe Trey would be a better moniker to give him, given his recent 3-point shooting prowess. It seems to be something I’m naturally good at, to be honest. This is something that the 23-year-old McBride has always felt compelled to do, she added. For all my life, this has been the moment I’ve imagined. For me, it’s second nature because I feel ready for it.
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