Quentin Grimes has ceded his beginning spot with the Knicks to Josh Hart since getting back from a two-game absence with a shoulder damage.

However one among Tom Thibodeau’s most-repeated phrases is “it’s not who begins, it’s who finishes.” Grimes got here off the bench for a second straight recreation, however he performed the ultimate quarter-hour of Tuesday’s Recreation 2 win over the Warmth, a lot of it alongside Hart to have each perimeter defenders on the ground to shut the sport.

“Yeah, simply defensively, I felt superb,” Thibodeau stated after the sport. “I feel the extra he performs, the extra the rhythm will come.”

Grimes began 66 video games within the common season plus the primary three of the opening spherical towards the Cavaliers earlier than he sat out the ultimate two with a contused proper shoulder.

Grimes performed simply 10 minutes within the Recreation 1 loss to Miami, however Thibodeau caught with him — reasonably than reinserting hot-shooting RJ Barrett — down the stretch of Tuesday’s win due to the elevated quantity of 3-point makes an attempt by the Warmth with star ahead Jimmy Butler sidelined.

“I simply thought we got here collectively,” Grimes stated. “We had been in a position to combat for each free ball, got here up with the 50/50 ones, rebounded effectively. I really feel like we form of simply locked in.”

Grimes nonetheless is looking for to rediscover his offensive recreation, nonetheless, totaling 18 factors in 5 postseason appearances, with two made 3-pointers in 14 makes an attempt.

Quentin Grimes
NBAE by way of Getty Photos

Requested if the Knicks will put together for Butler (sprained ankle) to return to the Warmth lineup for Recreation 3 on Saturday, Thibodeau quipped, “You already know the reply to that.”

“No, we are going to. I feel that’s type of the character of the beast proper now, for everybody,” he added. “You go in, and guys are nicked up right now of the yr. And so there’s the chance that guys could possibly be in or out, so that you all the time have, ‘OK, there’s a chance he could possibly be out, however who might be in? What would the plan be if these guys can be found?’

“If Jimmy is offered, then we’ll have a plan for him. You additionally knew in [Tuesday’s] case, when he was out, it could be a special kind of recreation, and it was.”

Jalen Brunson (30 factors), Julius Randle (25) and Barrett (24) turned the primary Knicks trio to every rating 20 or extra factors in a playoff recreation since Marcus Camby, Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell in Recreation 4 of the 1999 NBA Finals towards the Spurs.