Quentin Grimes finally made his season debut for the Knicks, but it was only a short stint in the final minutes Wednesday night after missing the first six games of the season with a sore foot.
The sophomore guard didn’t score in the final 4:38 of the fourth quarter of the Knicks’ 112-99 loss to the Hawks at the Garden.
Cam Reddish has remained in the team’s 10-man rotation for now, with Tom Thibodeau later saying he just wanted to “let [Grimes] see where he is.
Grimes has been limited since the start of training camp with foot pain, aggravating the injury during a 16-minute stint in his only preseason appearance against Washington on Oct. 14.
“I think it was just over time, and he never really felt good,” Thibodeau said. “It was at the start of the season, and our thought process was to prove him right, now, instead of having something that persists all season.”
Grimes, the No. 25 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, averaged 6.0 points in 17.1 minutes per game in 46 appearances as a rookie last season, and Thibodeau often praised him as a two-way player and for his ability as one of the team’s best perimeter defenders.
“Obviously he missed a lot of time. So he will be situational to start with,” Thibodeau said. “So if your opponent is a dribbling guy, he’s good at it. He is also very good at grabbing and pulling, locking and following people, staying attached. … It’s a fierce competitor, and we need it.
Reddish’s former NBA coach thinks he may be a better fit at the Knicks than he was at the Hawks. The 23-year-old Reddish had appeared in each of the Knicks’ first seven games of the season, averaging 7.9 points and 18.2 minutes per game.
“He’s had more opportunities this year,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said of Reddish. “Cam has a lot of potential. He’s a winger who can play the two and three, shoot the ball and defend the ball. I think he fits into the style of play when it comes to defending. He is proud to defend and he takes on a challenge. I think Thibs likes guys like that.