Quentin Grimes has struggled this season, both with his confidence and with his role. It’s imperative that the Knicks help him regain his comfort.

After the New York Knicks’ elimination from the In-Season Tournament on Tuesday night, starting shooting guard Quentin Grimes expressed frustration about his role to the media in his postgame availability. 

“Every shot that I put up feels like it probably weighs 100 pounds,” said Grimes per Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News about his recent shooting slump, adding that he finds it hard to find a rhythm when he “rarely touches the ball, stands in the corner and gets subbed out after missing one shot,” per Stefan Bondy of the New York Post. 

It echoed sentiments of Obi Toppin from last season when it was revealed that he, too, harbored some frustration operating in an offense best suited for his other teammates in Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, and RJ Barrett and their iso-heavy possessions instead of one that emphasized his strengths in moving off-ball, cutting to the basket and getting fed for his efforts consistently. 

It also felt like a complaint that Mitchell Robinson has had in the past, one that he’s aired out on social media regarding the lack of lobs thrown to him despite putting in some major work last season on the glass and helping the Knicks become one of the best second-chance point scorers in the league. 

Grimes is going to come off as complaining. After all, he’s only shooting 34.5 percent from three-point range and 35.9 percent overall from the field. The team is also 12-8, sitting comfortably amongst playoff teams in the Eastern Conference. But, this is a huge drop-off from last season for Grimes. He won the starting spot over Evan Fournier and went on to average 11.9 points per game on 38.6 percent shooting from deep and 46.8 percent overall last season, a spark that we’ve yet to see him provide to the Knicks this year on that side of the ball. 

His defense hasn’t really missed the mark this year, still getting the top assignment every game to try and stop any opposing team’s shooting guard. It’s his offense that has looked timid, hesitant, almost scared to even have the ball in his hands. When he shoots, the shot looks rushed, like the ball is on fire and he has to get it out of his grasp as soon as possible or risk death. 

Can you blame him, though?

Grimes’ usage is in the doldrums of the roster – if you go to the NBA Advanced Stats site and check out the entire roster’s usage, you have to scroll down to find Grimes sitting around where garbage time players are – 11.4 percent. The only starter worse than him in terms of usage is Robinson, who only has the ball 9.0 percent of the time. For a starter to be getting this sort of utilization despite showing the team last season what he could do off the ball, and what he could do with plays designed for him to feed players like Robinson or Hartenstein, is a disservice to him and the Knicks’ offense as a whole. 

Brunson and Randle both echoed Grimes’ sentiments after the game on Tuesday, saying they had to help him get going. Randle is a player who should especially take on this task, being one of the best passing bigs on the team. He has tried already to get Grimes some good looks in the corner, but because of Grimes’ hesitation, his shots have just kept careening off the rim, over and over again. He will eventually have to just cut with the ball to create a better look for himself, much like he did last season. But, he can certainly help to be more involved with the Knicks’ offense if Brunson or even Barrett tried to involve him, as well. 

Maybe Grimes will kickstart himself into a stretch of confident basketball, just like Josh Hart did recently when he said he felt out of rhythm and not involved. Or, maybe his struggles will continue, and New York will genuinely have to work hard to boost him up again. The team is winning despite his struggles, though, so the chances of Grimes having to figure out how to get his groove back all on his own are high. 

Related Content

»Read: Coming off the Bench Could Help Quentin Grimes

»Read: Block Friday: The Mitchell Robinson Leap is Here

»Read: Immanuel Quickley’s Pick-and-Roll Game is Blooming