Knicks hoping Miles McBride drafted is Kyle Lowry-lite


New York Post 31 July, 2021 - 04:03am 53 views

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By Marc Berman

July 31, 2021 | 5:03am

Kyle Lowry is one of the difference-making point guards the Knicks will chase when free agency begins Monday at 6 p.m. But the Knicks also hope they drafted Lowry Lite in the NBA draft Thursday night.

If the comparisons between West Virginia sophomore point guard Miles McBride and Lowry prove prescient, Knicks president Leon Rose will have pulled off the biggest draft steal in franchise history.

McBride, who will turn 21 in September, said in a video posted from his draft party Thursday night he’ll make teams “pay” for letting him slip to 36th-overall.

From Morgantown to Midtown, the 6-foot-2 sparkplug caught Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau’s eye as a pesky defender and gifted outside shooter.

“I definitely honored to have my playing style compared to Kyle Lowry,’’ McBride said on a Zoom call Friday. “I know he’s led the league in charges and I’m willing to do anything to win. That’s something I certainly can get behind.”

Nicknamed “Deuce,’’ McBride was asked about his proclamation regarding teams that found him too small to draft in the first round. He measured at the draft combine at 6-2 ¾, but with a 6-8 wingspan.

“I feel like I have a winning DNA throughout high school, college,’’ said McBride, who was a high-school quarterback in Cincinnati. “That’s the main thing I want to bring to the Knicks. Winning and continue to go upwards. I feel like doing all that winning, a lot of teams will regret not taking me.

The Knicks made the playoffs at 41-31 this past season, but need a starting point guard. It might be too much to ask McBride to play a lot of minutes as a rookie, but he’s unworried. He feels his first chance is “showcasing’’ his game at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, which starts Aug. 8.

Thibodeau took immediately to McBride at their workout and interview. The fact McBride is a former quarterback may have drawn the Knicks coach to “Deuce.’’ The Post reported earlier this week, Thibodeau was pushing to draft McBride.

“Being a quarterback taught me a lot of leadership skills,’’ McBride said. “Being able to lead a team of 80, 90 guys. Thibs saw that leadership and leadership style not yelling but definitely holding guys accountable. He knows I’ll be able to take criticism coming from [West Virginia] Coach [Bob] Huggins.’’

In Morgantown, W.Va., McBride, averaged 15.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists as a sophomore. He shot 41.4 percent from 3-point range. All for a coach who rivals Thibodeau for his obsessively grim demeanor.

“I’ve heard from everyone I met, if you can play for Huggins you can play for anybody,’’ McBride said. “I’ve heard Thibs is hard-nosed coach. That’s how I want it to be at this level as well.

McBride knew a good chance existed he would wind up in New York after their meeting.

“They were familiar with me and understood where I came from,’’ McBride said. “They have friends in the West Virginia program. It feels great to go to a team that wants me and understands my game and sees everything I can do on the floor.’’

McBride saw what the Hawks’ superstar point guard, Trae Young, did to the Knicks in the playoffs. If the teams meet again, McBride may have to be “The Trae Stopper.”

“Trae is a three-level scorer,’’ McBride said. “He can shoot deep-range ball and come off the pick-and-roll. He’s very hard to stay attached to. Being able to put my skill set versus his, I’m looking forward to that challenge.”

Read full article at New York Post

Knicks' draft picks Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride have one major similarity

Empire Sports Media 30 July, 2021 - 03:21pm

There are two skills you can never have enough of an NBA roster, and those are shooting and defending. The New York Knicks are looking to improve in both categories, as head coach Tom Thibodeau focused in on two specific athletes, Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes.

Both have one major similarities, defensive production and efficiency. Both played physical and high intensity basketball last season at the college level, and defense is one of the more translatable traits.

McBride has elite sleight of hand, averaging 1.9 steals per game last season and showcasing an ability to poke the ball free from handlers. He’s an extremely savvy defender with superior athleticism, but he’s also one of the toughest players in the draft.

“I see people ahead of him that I know he’s better than,’’ West Virginia assistant coach Erik Martin told The Post. “Some of those guys he’s outplayed when we played them. He’s 6-2, a former football player and a winner. He has toughness. He came in the door with that. Hopefully where he gets drafted is somewhere where he’d play.’’

McBride is not only a defensive talent, he also shot an impressive 41% from three-point last season, averaging 15.9 points per game. Developing him behind an established veteran will give him plenty of time to adapt and refine his talents, hopefully growing into a long-term solution.

McBride is a point guard, though, while Grimes features as a shooting guard who feels he can do far more than the perception of him during the draft indicated.

Quentin Grimes detailed his approach to the NBA and the perception of him ahead of the 2021-22 season, via SNY:

“I felt like just leading up to the draft when I had my workouts with them, I feel like it was a great fit. I know Coach [Tom Thibodeau] is a tough, hard-nosed coach, and then coming from [Houston] Coach [Kelvin] Sampson, who is also a tough, hard-nosed coach, I felt like it would kind of be a match made in heaven,” Grimes said. “Just that he’s gonna be on you…

“I feel like I was picked in the perfect spot. I feel like some people might say that I was picked too low, picked too high or something like that, but I feel like I got picked in the right situation. I feel like going to New York is going to be a match made in heaven.”

Grimes is an elite shooter, averaging 17.8 points per game last season on 41% shooting from the field. He also connected on 40% of his shots from range, averaging 8.3 attempts per game. His ability to drive the baseline and shoot with a fearless mentality will help him at the next level.

“I feel like everybody knows that I’m a high-level shooter. I’m a high-level defender, but I feel like I’m also just – kind of, people just label me as a three-and-D guy, but I feel like I’m a lot more than that. I can play pick-and-roll, make plays, create plays for myself and others, but I feel like I could definitely have an immediate impact shooting the ball at a high level for threes and locking down defensively. Those are two things that I really pride myself and hang my hat on.”

At 6’5″, 205-pounds, and a 6’8″ wingspan, Grimes has great size and length to guard multiple positions on the perimeter. He averaged 1.4 steals per game last season at 21 years old, and has some of the most active hands in the draft class. He’s solid at closing out shooters and contesting jump shots, something his size helps him with.

Expect to see Grimes play a similar role to Reggie Bullock next season, being more of an off-ball player who hovers into specific spots on the floor, predominantly beyond the three-point line. His excellent defense will contribute toward him being perceived as a 3-and-D player, but that is not a bad thing whatsoever.

Ultimately, the Knicks added two players who will contribute immediately on defense, but also have solid offensive potential. Depending on how the front office attacks free agency, we could see both of these rookies play a significant role next season.

Knicks select McBride in second round 29 July, 2021 - 10:41pm

The native of Cincinnati, Ohio, became the first Mountaineer selected in the draft since Jevon Carter in 2018 when the New York Knicks chose him with the No. 36 overall pick via Oklahoma City Thursday night.

Despite numerous projections ranking him as a first round talent, McBride slipped into the second round.

Only six Mountaineers have been selected in the first round of the draft. Joe Alexander is the most recent first round pick, going No. 8 overall to the Bucks 13 years ago. The other top Mountaineer draftees are Mark Workman (1952), Hot Rod Hundley (1957), Jerry West (1960), Rod Thorn (1963) and Ron Williams (1968).

McBride led West Virginia in scoring last season with 15.9 points per game, which tied him for fourth in scoring average in the Big 12 Conference. He also led the Mountaineer roster in assists (140) and steals (55). 

McBride also logged at least 30 points, six rebounds and six assists in multiple contests last season. Only Hudley and West have accomplished the same feat in a WVU uniform.

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