Deuce McBride’s 3-Point Shooting Something Knicks Knew About

Miles McBride, knicknamed Deuce McBride — his favored name — might have to change his knickname soon to Trey McBride as he has been LETHAL from 3 this year, especially after being put into the main rotation after Immanuel Quickley was traded to Toronto on December 27th.

McBride Shooting .416 from 3 So Far this Year

After a 26-point, 6-12 from 3 performance to help NY beat the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden on March 23rd, McBride is now averaging .416 from 3 on the season. It is a career high in this his 3rd season — having shot .250 and .299 from 3 his first two years.

This is news to many but not news to Knicks management and coaching, who see Deuce McBride in practice and have known how good he is from 3.

Thibs & Knicks Coaches Knew It All Along

Said coach Tom Thibodeau after McBride scored 29 points on efficient 9-13 shooting (6-9 from 3) in a win over Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, 119-112 on March 18th:

“I think I mentioned this to you guys before: We track all the shots. And last year his efficiency in practice was really high. I don’t think there’s anyone on the team that shoots more than he does; maybe Jalen. But you could see how efficiently he was shooting the ball in practice. And usually that’s a sign that in time it will transfer into the games.”

“And in fairness to him,” Thibs continued, “he was never really in the rotation. Sometimes he would be in then he’d be out; and it’s not easy to handle that. He never complained; always ready. There’s a defensive component to him — he’s a 2-way player. And the shooting is just huge. Huge.”

Knicks’ Strategic, End-of-Godfather Move

McBride has always been rumored to be a player Thibs wanted the Knicks to draft in the 2021 draft, when NY selected him with the 6th pick of the 2nd round (#36 overall). Thibs has always spoke highly of McBride’s toughness. In his first year as a Knick, McBride shuttled between G League Westchester — where he was a scoring machine and dynamic player on both ends — and NY where he looked unconfident on offense in games.

But last year, Thibs added McBride to the rotation in December 2022, in lieu of Thibs’ favorite Derrick Rose who found the bench, and the Knicks rolled — McBride’s defensive intensity helped the Knicks reach new team-defense levels and NY had a pretty deep playoff run (they were one of the final 8 teams playing ball).

This year however, the off-season free-agent signing of Donte DiVincenzo forced McBride out of the rotation. That is — until NY traded Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett to Toronto for OG Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa on December 27, 2023.

NY netted the core of Toronto’s main strength — their athletic, aggressive, defensive bigs. The day of the trade — NY signed McBride to a 3-year extension at $3.9 M to $4.7 M a year.

While most of the media was trying to figure out who the Knicks would go get to be their new backup point guard, NY put McBride back into the position and the Knicks started Rolling again, like they did last year.

It was an end-of-Godfather-like strategic move: showcasing Quickley for the 1st half of the season, and keeping McBride in their back pocket. Quickley is a terrific player who can hit the 3 and play D, but he had come up short in last year’s playoffs and wanted a ton of money — reportedly was looking for $25 M a year in last summer’s contract extension talks with the Knicks. Quickley becomes a high-priced free agent this coming summer. Meanwhile the Knicks have McBride playing as good or better ball than Quickley at a fraction of the cost.

And Quickley and RJ were used to go get length, athleticism, defense, and offense in Anunoby and Precious. Anunoby will be asking for a big contract too this summer but that is more palatable for the Knicks as he is a 6’8 All-League defender who can score off the ball and is deadly on 3’s from the corner.

McBride’s Defense Against Elite Guards Like Steph Curry

McBride is always guarding the other team’s elite offensive point guard. In the game against Golden State, he hounded Stephen Curry into numerous turnovers.

“The challenge with Curry is you have to guard him off the dribble initially, and then it turns into catch and shoot,” said coach Thibodeau after the game. “You have to have the discipline to stay attached to him once he gives the ball up because that’s when he becomes real dangerous. You can never let your guard down with him whether it’s transition, pick and roll, catch and shoot — and they do a great job of searching him out. When he gets off the ball he’s going to get a 2nd and 3rd look. It’s not an easy task; he (McBride) chased him all night; he never stops moving; he’s in phenomenal shape. I thought Deuce did a terrific job.”

Thibs Credits Leon Rose & Staff for McBride Find

Despite the rumor that the Knicks drafted McBride at his insistence, Thibs credited Leon Rose and Staff after the game against Golden State, when asked about McBride’s recovery off a turnover and ensuing defense against Curry that caused a Curry turnover just before the half:

“It was one of the things that we really liked about him when we drafted him. I give Leon and the staff a lot of credit for it. They liked that component. We were trying to add those types of players. We thought the shooting would come around. We knew he was a gym rat. We liked the program he was coming out of (West Virginia), I think that’s important.”

“His toughness; his competitiveness; his drive; his ability to think on his feet,” continued Thibs. “Those were the characteristics that we valued and we liked (about him). Once we got him and we saw how he worked and how he was as a teammate, we knew he was a great fit. And he’ll continue to get better.”

McBride’s Endurance

After the Quickley trade, McBride was injected into the Knick rotation and with all the NY injuries, soon found himself playing major minutes. He had 4 games of 40+ minutes in January and February, including games of 46 minutes against Atlanta Dejounte Murray (Trae Young was out), and 47 minutes against Cleveland and Darius Garland.

With OG Anunoby currently out, McBride has played all 48 minutes against Brooklyn and Cam Thomas, 41 minutes against Denver and Jamal Murray, and 47 minutes against Golden State and Stephen Curry.

On the Knick broadcast of March 23rd, Rebecca Harlow noted that McBride said he spent every day in the summer running hills, and sprints on the track. His running was for “miles and miles”, according to Harlow. McBride said he has “never taken more than 10 days off since he’s been in league.”

Deuce Is a Gym Rat — Continues to Work on His Treys

In a story in the NY Post on March 22nd, Stefan Bondy reported that McBride shot 500 3’s a day during the summer — 250 in the morning, and 25o later in the day.

McBride has become an absolute 2-way weapon for NY — something Knick management saw coming.

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