The New York Knicks return from their five-game road trip having gone 3-2 during this stretch and, in turn, sport a middle-of-the-pack record of 9-9 on the season.
While it appears that, barring injuries, Tom Thibodeau’s rotation has been fully solidified for the foreseeable future, according to one Eastern Conference coach, the head man should strongly consider shelling out a few extra minutes to second-year big man Jericho Sims.
When recently speaking with Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney, the anonymous coach was asked who amongst New York’s current crop of ballers they believe should see more on-court action and noted that the 24-year-old is someone who deserves a look.
“I really like Jericho Sims, a lot of coaches do, a lot of teams do,” the coach told Deveney. “He makes mistakes on both ends but that can be fixed with experience. He is a crazy athlete, off the charts with the way he can move and jump at his size. Very springy. They knew he was a project and he might not be ready yet but every time he plays, he gets a little better.”
Since being selected late in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft, Sims has struggled mightily to come across a consistent role within the Knicks’ lineup and spent a majority of his rookie campaign rotating in and out of the G League.
However, now in year two, the big man has been called upon rather often due to injuries within the team’s frontcourt and, with his increased opportunities, he has gone on to show flashes of becoming a solid rotational fixture.
Sims Seeing More Opportunities With Knicks
Through 18 games played in 2022-23, Jericho Sims has seen in-game action on 13 separate occasions and has managed to put forth career-high averages virtually all across the board.
His uptick in playing time has, in large, been a result of the injury woes of typical starting pivot Mitchell Robinson, who has missed eight games already this month and, despite having returned to the lineup on November 20, is still viewed as “a work in progress.”
During Robinson’s rehabilitation period, Sims has seen his role expand considerably and has started two games as a result which, in turn, has allowed him to showcase some of the eye-popping athleticism the Eastern Conference coach was talking to Sean Deveny about.
Since November 5, Sims has found himself logging 18.1 minutes of action a night and has posted averages of 5.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks on a Robinson-esque 74.3% shooting from the floor.
Knicks Guard Praises Barrett
The Knicks ended their west coast road trip on a high note Monday evening, as they bested the OKC Thunder by a final score of 129-119.
While there were several key contributors for New York during the contest, perhaps the most noteworthy performance was the one put forth by third-year wing RJ Barrett, who, after a brutal five-game slump, bounced back in a major way with 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists on 62.5% shooting from the floor and 75% shooting from deep.
Barrett’s showing was so impressive, it went on to receive extremely high praise from Knicks guard Jalen Brunson who, in a post-game interview with MSG Network’s Wally Szczerbiak, couldn’t help but boast about the wing.
“You never know when he’s having an off night or he’s having a great night,” Brunson said. “That’s really telling about him and so he keeps that demeanor he stays with it and stays confident, always.”
Brunson also had himself a stellar showing against the Thunder, as he finished the contest with a whopping 34 points (tied for his regular season career high), 9 assists, and a steal on a highly efficient 70% shooting from the floor.