But even after a career night in the Knicks’ 122-108 dismantling of the Charlotte Hornets, he wants the spotlight not on himself, but on his best friend.
“I would love for [Jalen Brunson] to get an All-Star berth,” DiVincenzo said via New York Post. “I think he is [an All-Star]. I think we have two All-Stars on this team [with Julius Randle].”
Brunson fired 32 points, while DiVincenzo added a career-high 25.
The Knicks starting point guard missed the cut in last year’s All-Star. But he’s making a strong case this season in a guard-heavy Eastern Conference.
Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton is on a point god level, averaging 24.7 points and a league-best 12.5 assists. Tyrese Maxey (26.9 points and 6.8 assists) is unleashed following James Harden’s exit in Philadelphia. Then there’s the pair of established stars Damian Lillard (24.8 points and 6.2 assists) in Milwaukee and Donovan Mitchell (29.2 points and 5.3 assists) in Cleveland.
The competition for an All-Star berth will be tight. But as long as Brunson and the Knicks are rolling, DiVincenzo’s wish might just come true.
New Knicks Starting Backcourt?
DiVincenzo had seized his opportunity in New York.
He is averaging 18.0 points on 67% shooting and has made 11 of 18 3-pointers.
The new Knicks starting backcourt looked perfectly in sync over the last two games. The chemistry and comfort level between the former Villanova teammates and roommates is very evident in their play and the Knicks’ success.
“[DiVincenzo] was terrific, terrific,” coach Tom Thibodeau said via New York Post. “I thought the shotmaking, the playmaking, the defense, it was a terrific all-around game from him.”
It will be hard for Quentin Grimes (wrist injury) to reclaim his starting spot when he returns if DiVincenzo keeps this up.
DiVincenzo brings Steph Curry-esque off-ball movement to the Knicks offense. It’s something that he learned with the Golden State Warriors last season.
On defense, he’s a pest. He had three steals against the Hornets. For the season, he’s averaging 1.0 steals per game, third on the team behind centers Mitchell Robinson (1.3) and Isaiah Hartenstein (1.1).
One Player Away’
The Knicks continued their climb in the Eastern Conference standings after a 2-4 start. They are now tied with rival Miami Heat for 5-6 spots in the East with an 8-5 record after beating the Hortners.
Former Knicks general manager Scott Perry believes “they are just one player away.”
“And here’s why. I think they’re one player away. A player that can come in — and doesn’t have to be a superstar player either — a player who can create some offense off the dribble, to take some of the pressure off Jalen Brunson having to do that as well, or Julius Randle having to do it, or RJ Barrett,” Perry said on the NBA Today on Tuesday, November 14.
Could that player be DiVincenzo?
Perry made the 2004 Detroit Pistons team that won the NBA title with an in-season trade for Rasheed Wallace as a reference.
“[The Pistons] were in a very similar position that the Knicks are in right now. We were in the middle of the pack. We were like fourth or fifth in the Eastern Conference, we were a good basketball team, but we needed to get over the hump,” said Perry, recalling the Wallace trade.
A Detroit native, Perry was a front-office executive under Joe Dumars during the improbable Pistons’ 2004 championship run.
“I think we are the, maybe the last team to make an in-season move like that to go ahead and win a title. I believe in the collective, and I think the Knicks have something in terms of depth. So you add one more player to that mix. You don’t have to go the typical three-superstar route to get it done,” Perry said.