LAS VEGAS – Although the Knicks selected Quentin Grimes in the first round of final month’s draft, he wasn’t precisely the featured man on offense throughout the first two summer-league video games at the Thomas & Mack Center.
The 6-foot-4 taking pictures guard, who led the University of Houston to the Final Four in March, has taken a backseat to the Knicks’ two first-round picks from the 2020 Draft – Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin.
Houston Cougars head coach Kelvin Sampson has observed Grimes struggling to modify to the lesser position and to a point guard who isn’t exactly Chris Paul.
“Quentin has to learn he’s not the lead dog,’’ Sampson told The Post after viewing both contests. “It’s an adjustment for all these guys. The way you play in college, eventually you’ll get to that. Quickley is a shoot-first, shoot-second, shoot-third point guard. Toppin, you can tell there’s an interest in getting those two guys going. I can tell Quentin was nervous his first game too. Quentin will operate a lot better when you run stuff for him and let him make plays out of that.”
Ironically, the 21-year-old Grimes drilled his first shot on his first contact – a left-wing 3-pointer – however hasn’t seen many go down since.
In the two video games, he’s gone 5 of 21 in mixed taking pictures – 5 of 14 from 3. He’s put up 9 factors and 6 factors, respectively. On the optimistic aspect, he has only one turnover in two video games and was a team-high plus-16 in the Indiana win.
The Knicks (1-1) tackle the Lakers on Wednesday at UNLV (10 p.m. EDT) and Sampson hopes Grimes is extra assertive.
“I assumed he was too passive,’’ Sampson stated. “In summer time league, it’s OK to be somewhat egocentric. Don’t take unhealthy pictures however you’ve got to take a look at your window of alternative. If you give it up, it received’t come again his approach. I understand how aggressive he’s and the way good he might be. You shouldn’t draw conclusions primarily based on summer-league video games.’’
Grimes, who has a handsome soar shot taught to him by his father — who performed at Louisiana Tech — doesn’t appear anxious.
“Really simply hold taking pictures,’’ Grimes stated. “You’re not going to make each shot. Some nights it’s not going to be your evening, some evening’s it’s. I really feel like everyone is aware of how good of a shooter I’m. My teammates know. So all I bought to do is keep in the fitness center and hold taking pictures, it’s going to fall for positive.’’
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau and president Leon Rose have but to touch upon Grimes, whom the Knicks picked No. 25 general on July 29.
Grimes was trying like a one-and-done when he enrolled at Kansas three years in the past as arguably the nation’s hottest recruit. He didn’t mesh nicely with the Jayhawks teaching employees and transferred after his freshman 12 months to his hometown college, the place he performed two seasons.
“Quentin by no means stated (he’d be one-and-done),’’ Sampson stated. “You’re held sufferer by different individuals’s opinions. When he left Kansas and got here right here, the discussions we had was he all the time felt he wanted multiple 12 months.’’
Just as Grimes joined the Cougars, the program took a 10-day summer time exhibition tour of Italy – Florence, Milan, Rome, Lake Como. Grimes bonded abroad with the new employees and teammates, Sampson stated.
“He flipped over a brand new sheet and began drawing,’’ Sampson stated. “He had the define of one thing stunning and particular nevertheless it wasn’t completed. He put his pen down and walked away (from Kansas). Two years later he got here again and also you flip the lights on and take a look at the image. Wow, take a look at that. some children are late bloomers.’’