The New York Knicks made a big splash this offseason by signing Jalen Brunson, and it sounds like it may have inspired some of the other guards on the roster.
Miles McBride, a rookie last season who saw sporadic playing time, is locked in and ready to earn some playing time next season. With Alec Burks and Kemba Walker off the roster, it seems like that could end up being a possibility.
Brunson and Derrick Rose will likely see the bulk of the minutes at point guard this season, McBride will be doing anything he can get consistent playing time. He said as much during the Summer League, via the New York Post.
McBride Ready to Prove Himself
McBride spoke to the media during the Summer League, and he set a simple goal for himself.
“Doing whatever I can to be on the floor [is my mindset],” he said. “If that means making shots, bringing the ball up, finding the open man, playing defense, I’m doing anything I can to be on the floor.”
Fans called for him to play several times last season, but coach Tom Thibodeau continued to use Alec Burks at point guard despite the playoffs slipping more and more out of reach as the days went on.
“Confidence can’t waver, not in this league,” he continued. “If that happens, then you’re going to be stuck in the mud. So I’m trying to stay as confident as I can.”
As a rookie, McBride appeared in 40 games to go along with two starts, but he averaged just 9.3 minutes per game. That’s not the way to develop, so if he can get more consistent playing time, the Knicks could get a better idea of what type of player the young guard can blossom into.
The Summer League will show McBride can score and shoot from deep, but stats in the Las Vegas showcase don’t exactly translate well over to your average NBA game. At the very least, McBride has shown he has talent.
Big Season Ahead?
Even if McBride doesn’t end up getting a ton of playing time in the next season, the Knicks should still be much more consistent at the point guard position.
Last year was filled with uncertainty, but Brunson and a healthy Derrick Rose will go a long way to helping the team find more balance there.
However, a lot of the success for the team will rely on the continued development of RJ Barrett along with the return to prominence for Julius Randle. Barrett just posted his first 20 points per game scoring season, but his efficiency will need to improve if the Knicks want to find more success.
Randle was an All-Star two seasons ago, so he’s flashed what he can do, but he regressed nearly across the board last season. Those two players are the key for the Knicks going into next season, and maybe Brunson can be the player that helps both of them unlock more of their potential.