Miles McBride’s role has expanded since the Knicks traded Immanuel Quickley to Toronto, so he was ready when he made his first start of the season Saturday night, writes Newsday’s Steve Popper. With Jalen Brunson sidelined with a calf injury, McBride responded with a career-high 19 points in a win at Memphis.
“I mean, get ready,” McBride said. “In the summer I do a lot of long workouts, a lot of running, just knowing that at some point it’s going to be a long season and your name is going to be called. So you need to do everything you can to be as prepared as possible.
McBride has failed 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, $13 million extension 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 IS an elite defender. This was his strength. This was his calling card. He also proved to be an excellent shooter. He has a lot of confidence, he works really hard on his game. So this is a great opportunity for him. Every time he was called upon he was ready and gave a good performance.”