How an underrated player can change the Knicks playoff fate

Tom Thibodeau
Tom Thibodeau / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The New York Knicks were obliterated by the Indiana Pacers in Game 4, and they’ll need more help offensively to get past the bunch from the Hoosier state. Beyond the usual suspects, Miles “Deuce” McBride could provide some support if he’s able to get his jump shot right. With all of the Pacers’ focus centered around the “Villanova Knicks,” the West Virginia product may be able to slip through the cracks long enough for a breakout performance.

It is more than fair to assume that Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo will draw the most defensive attention, especially considering that OG Anunoby’s status is up in the air going forward. In Game 3, the trio combined for 71 of New York’s 106 points. Indiana has received more scoring from their bench during the second round series, and it’s made a key difference.

How Miles McBride can impact the Knicks' playoff run

McBride has not had a superb series. He’s averaging 7.5 points per game and shooting 26.3% from range across the first four games of the playoff set. Some of this may be due to the fact that he’s not received the same amount of playing time in any of the games. His minutes have gone up each game, and while he did score 16 points in Game 4, the Knicks were already well behind the Pacers. 

On the whole though, McBride should be able to find space to work with. Alec Burks provided 14 points in a tight Game 3 by shooting well from range and occasionally working his way to the free throw line.

There’s no reason why McBride would not be able to do the same from a talent perspective, and his second year of postseason play feels like an appropriate time for him to step up. The Knicks could use all the help they can get, and McBride’s youthful energy could give them a timely lift.