With RJ Barrett, Alec Burks, and Obi Toppin unavailable for the New York Knicks game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Coach Tom Thibodeau turned to confident rookie Quentin Grimes. All Grimes needed was an opportunity, and once he got it, he took full advantage, dropping 27 points on seven three-pointers in the rookies’ first-ever start of his career.
THREE STRAIGHT THREES FROM @qdotgrimes
7 THREES TOTAL. HE’S ON 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/hFZRsqdD9u
— KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) December 12, 2021
Grimes’ 27 is the most points scored by a Knicks rookie in his first NBA start since the League first recorded starts in the 1996-1997 season. Both Barrett and Immanuel Quickley dropped 21 in their respective rookie seasons, while Tony Douglas sat in second with 23 points in the 2009-2010 season. Alongside his 27 points, Grimes added in three boards, three assists, and three steals while shooting 9-17 from the field.
An elite three-point threat – who we profiled back in July just before the NBA Draft – Grimes is shooting 15-for-36 from beyond the arc on the season, setting the New York Knicks record for the most treys hit by a rookie in a single game with the seven he knocked down against the defending champs’ top-10 defense.
After their 112-97 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Grimes was asked if he was surprised to hear about his start ahead of tip-off.
Quentin Grimes says he found out he was going to start just 90 minutes before the game:
“It was definitely a surreal moment and I was trying to soak it all in” pic.twitter.com/42JU0Kthad
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) December 12, 2021
“I’m not gonna lie, I really didn’t,” Grimes said via SNY Knicks. “I knew about like 90 minutes before the game started, found out that RJ wasn’t gonna be able to play, that I was gonna start. I was just tryna get my mind right, do whatever how I was doing in college and I’m always preparing myself for a moment like this. It was definitely a surreal moment, I was just trying to soak it all in.”
The former Houston standout and 25th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft will see what teammates will be rejoining the Knicks lineup this week to determine any certified playing time, with the New York facing off against the Golden State Warriors at home on Tuesday night.