Miles McBride has capped a fantastic regular season by showing up when the Knicks have needed him in Round One of the 2024 Playoffs.

If you are a fan of The Knicks Wall, there is little doubt in my mind that you are familiar with our belief in Miles McBride. I began writing about Deuce during his junior year at West Virginia. The bones were always there of a helpful NBA player, there was little doubt that the defense would translate and if the three-point shot was real, he would theoretically be a high-level 3-and-D guard.

For a while, that’s all he was: theoretical. We continued writing about McBride as he was lighting up the G-League for big scoring outbursts. For the longest time: that scoring did not translate into the big leagues. The shooting seemed like it was never going to manifest in the NBA.

Over his first two years: McBride shot a lowly 27% from three which was never going to be enough to get him real minutes on the Knicks. However, something changed this year, and the opportunity that presented itself after the Immanuel Quickley trade expedited that process. I wrote this year about how McBride expanded his arsenal and was able to add to his game with dribble drive moves to aid his three-point shot. That ability to attack parlayed with the quick release helped the former West Virginia Mountaineer finally put together that theoretical jumper and shoot 41% from beyond the arc.

If you watched the Knicks this year, you saw exactly what Deuce McBride was capable of in his third season. After the OG Anunoby trade, many fans clamored for a follow-up move for a traditional backup point guard. However, McBride stepped into the IQ role off the bench nearly flawlessly. We saw even more opportunity be given to him when Jalen Brunson and OG were out with injuries. Thibs showed his trust in the third-year guard by playing him in literally every minute of a game as well as most of every other one.

Even with that success and progress this year, there were still major questions about McBride’s ability to play minutes in the playoffs. The backup point guard position was always a major debate going into the playoffs with valid concerns about the sustainability of Brunson’s usage in physical playoff matchups if he is the only playable guard.

However, that is not the case and that was never going to be the case. Deuce McBride was built for the playoffs, and he has proved it in his first 3 games of the series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Deuce McBride averaged 8.3 points in 19.5 minutes this season while shooting 41% from deep and 45.2% from the field. In his first three playoff games, McBride has averaged nearly 13 points a game in 24 minutes on 50% from beyond the arc and 46.7% from the field.

There was nary a person who questioned Deuce McBride’s defense, but that was underrated in regard to his ability to play in the playoffs. He has been an important factor on both sides of the ball, as an off-ball shooter where he has gone 7-14 on threes as well as an on-ball defender where he is spending a large portion of his time guarding Tyrese Maxey..

This obviously was all on display in game 1 in MSG where he was an astounding +37 in 28 minutes. In that game; Deuce had 21 points on 5-7 from deep and showed a fearlessness that few young players have. He was willing to take and make tough shots off the catch as well as off an extremely difficult step back.

If this was your first time watching Deuce McBride, you might have been surprised by his performance, but you shouldn’t be. He did this at West Virginia, he did this in the G-League, and now he is doing it on the biggest stage.

Even in the Game 3 defeat, where McBride only had 8 points, he still went 2-4 from deep and hit an extremely big momentum-shifting three on a comeback attempt. Deuce McBride took that shot because Deuce McBride is not afraid of the moment.

If nothing else on this playoff run, McBride has shown that his confidence and swagger make him the perfect playoff player. I’m not saying he is better than Immanuel Quickley or that the production is the same, but he has shown he is ready to take on the role. Whenever these playoffs come to an end, there should be a lot fewer questions on the backup point guard role.

»Read: Knicks Vs. Sixers Game 1 Takeaways and Adjustments

»Read: Sixers Q&A With ClutchPoints’ Sam DiGiovanni

»Read: Knicks Draw Sixers in Tough First-Round Matchup