Time to start paying attention to Quentin Grimes

The New York Knicks season officially ended after last week’s 96-92 Game 6 loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. However, the postseason run gave them a more vivid understanding of their young talent’s ceilings and floors.

More specifically, the orange and blue learned that Quentin Grimes is the kind of player with a high floor and an unknown ceiling.

Across nine postseason contests, Grimes averaged 26.9 minutes, 5.1 points, 1.0 steal, and 2.8 rebounds. In a must win Game 5 against Miami at the Garden, Grimes played all 48 minutes, scored eight points, tallied eight rebounds, and collected five dimes. The battered and bruised 23-year old stole the ball from Jimmy Butler to cap off his most vigorous playoff performance, and help cement a 112-103 win that momentarily kept New York alive.

It’s easy to criticize the Houston product’s playoff output based on his scoring numbers. Although it should be noted that he spent a great deal of his second round minutes guarding Jimmy Butler and focusing on ways to provide energy on the defensive end of the court.

“One thing about Quentin, I think he spaces the floor for us differently. But he is a two-way player,” head coach Tom Thibodeau told the New York Post after the Game 5 win. “He is a hustle player. Jimmy’s gonna make you work, and you gotta make him work. And so I thought he did as good a job as you can do.”

Grimes was one of the Knicks’ best three-point shooters during the regular season. He held the 4th best team three-point field goal percentage, and made the second most shots from behind the arc. By comparison, he only shot at a 24.3% clip from range in the playoffs.

It’s fully possible that both an increase in defensive responsibility and a worn out body contributed to Grimes’ weaker offensive play in the postseason. Experience could prove vital in helping him develop into a more complete playoff performer, and it is encouraging that he’s already shown a willingness to play feisty perimeter defense.

Regardless if the Knicks choose to keep Quentin Grimes or include him in a larger trade package this season, it is clear that his value is far greater after a skillful postseason. At his worst, Grimes is a reliable defender. It is not yet known who he will be at his peak.