The New York Knicks have relied on their bench for strong production throughout the season, with players like Immanuel Quickley and Josh Hart making significant contributions.
Second-year guard Miles McBride was dropped from the rotation following Hart’s arrival from the Trail Blazers on February 8.
However, McBride has recently played in the past five games due to Jalen Brunson’s absence from most of the stretch with a bruised left foot.
In Sunday’s win over the Lakers, McBride scored eight points and made three steals in 17 minutes, including a breakaway dunk and two key 3-pointers.
According to McBride, the second unit’s job is to “look at the score, understand what we have to do as a unit and move the needle.”
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau praised McBride and the team’s bench play, calling it “phenomenal.”
McBride has consistently drawn praise from Thibodeau for staying ready despite the uncertainty over his place in the rotation.
Thibodeau emphasized the importance of making hustle plays, which inspire the team and contribute to winning.
Leading scorer Julius Randle also commended McBride’s work ethic and competitive spirit, stating that he is not surprised that McBride has thrived when given the opportunity.
McBride has connected on six of his 14 3-point attempts over the previous five games, with six steals and three blocked shots at the defensive end.
He emphasized Thibodeau’s focus on defense and credited the team’s energy and effort for their success.
Despite missing Brunson, the team’s goal is to figure out how to get wins, with players like Hart, Obi Toppin, and Isaiah Hartenstein providing significant contributions off the bench.