Knicks rookie guard Quentin Grimes ramping up for return

DALLAS — The impressive rookie season for Quentin Grimes is not over.

And if there’s nothing else to take from this downbeat Knicks season, Grimes has flourished as a solid two-way shooting guard representing a piece for the future.

In the first game out of the All-Star break, on Feb. 25 versus Miami, Grimes’ knee buckled while he was moving through a screen, and was helped off by teammates.

No time table was set for his return after the Knicks announced a dislocated right knee, but Grimes is progressing quickly, is shooting and running, and likely will be cleared for his first contact practice Tuesday. Perhaps he will be back in 10 days or so.

“It was my first injury that I’ve been sidelined for more than a week,” Grimes said in his first remarks since the injury. “So it was crazy when it happened, but it wasn’t as bad as everybody thought it was. I think I was playing a little too hard, and I just like dislocated a little bit and it went right back in and I rolled over.”

Grimes won’t see the replay out of fear.

“They told me what it looked like, so I didn’t want to see it,” Grimes said. “I felt it. It was on the side of my knee. Then it came back in when I rolled over. So luckily it wasn’t too bad.”

Quentin Grimes
USA TODAY Sports

Last March, Grimes led the Houston Cougars to the NCAA Final Four, where they lost to eventual-champion Baylor. Now he’s just trying to get back in time to finish the season on the court.

“It’s tough. You can see how much my minutes went up, how much I was on the ball,” Grimes said. “But as you can be a good teammate, try to push to get these wins and get into the play-in right now if we can.”

The 25th pick in the draft, acquired via a trade with the Clippers, entered coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation in December. The coach has released his fire on both ends and his 3-point shooting. In 40 games, Grimes is averaging 6.3 points and shooting 39.8 percent from deep.

“Yeah, I definitely feel like [I’m a different player],” Grimes said. “Every game I learn more about myself, about the team, what Thibs wants from me. I feel like every game I’ve played I’ve learned more, even if it’s a bad thing. Just learning from that, watching film.”

Thibodeau already is using a young backup guard tandem of Immanuel Quickley and rookie Miles McBride.

Getting back Grimes should only add to the youth movement while the Knicks desperately try to stay in the play-in tournament race — 4 ¹/₂ games out of the 10th seed.

“He’s moving around, he’s getting closer, coming along nicely,” Thibodeau said. “He’s a phenomenal worker, and you gotta give him a lot of credit. He’s a fierce competitor. [Contact] will be the next step, but [he is] doing everything else. So far there’s no issues.

Knicks
Quentin Grimes goes down with an injury on Feb. 25.
Getty Images

According to a source, the Knicks will lean on the side of caution and won’t rush him. Grimes hasn’t circled a date on his calendar for a first game back. But there likely will be one.

“I just want to come back and play,” Grimes said. “I love playing, love hooping. I want to go out there and do whatever I can to help the team win. If that means coming back and doing what I got to do.”

That fateful Friday when Grimes was injured, his brother, Tyler Myers, a veteran defenseman for the Canucks, and his mother, Tonja, were at the Garden stands.

Grimes and Myers are the first brother tandem to play professionally in the NBA and NHL. They have different fathers, with Quentin growing up in Houston and Myers in Calgary. And on Feb. 27 they were scheduled to play in the same building on the same day before Grimes’ injury scuttled that big family moment.

As it would happen, Myers scored his first goal of the season in that game against the Rangers.

“It was tough for them even to see [him get injured], just having them both be there,” Grimes said. “It was a tough night for both of them. I went to the [hockey] game and everything. He scored his first goal of the season. That’s a real moment for everybody being there. That was my first hockey game since I was 10. ”

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