4 Dark Horse Knicks That Can Power a Deep Postseason Run

The New York Knicks are a team everyone is watching to get to the Eastern Conference Finals. Which underrated players will they need to show up in the playoffs to make a deep bid?
 New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) celebrates with teammates
New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) celebrates with teammates / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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Miles McBride

New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) drives to the basket
New York Knicks guard Miles McBride (2) drives to the basket / Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

His nickname may be Deuce, but there is no shortage to the impact that Miles McBride has had on the Knicks rotation in their run to the postseason. 

Similar to Hart, McBride was another Knicks player who increased in his role following the onset of injuries to key starters in the midway point of the season. However, it might have been the best thing for him, as the 23-year-old, former second-round draft pick saw immense growth in all the intangibles that a team needs from its point guards. 

On the offensive end, McBride elevated himself to a good second-unit producer that could give Jalen Brunson extra rest time without sacrificing their nightly output. After two seasons of averaging less than four points per contest, his numbers jumped to 8.3 points, 1.5 boards and 1.7 assists per affair and pushed as high as 45.2% from the field and 41.0% from beyond the three-point line. 

In addition to scoring, McBride is one of the best facilitators on the Knicks roster and could open up the transition game with or without the ball in his hands. He has the speed and shiftiness to put pressure on the defense to get back to the basket to contest a layup or to get ahead of a wide open teammate on the outside. He can reverse the role and become the open man himself, quickly getting off the dagger looks that put opponents to rest.

Meanwhile, his defense has sharply improved as well. In various stretches of the year, the Knicks called on McBride to guard some of the best players at his position and that “in your face” defensive confidence stifled some of the strongest shooters in the game in big wins for New York. McBride has jumped his defending rebounding percentage to 5.9%, steals to 1.2% and carries a defensive plus/minus ratio of 0.4 after having a negative number last season. 

There is really not one thing about Miles McBride that stands out in his record season, but simply put, if he can bring all these things into the postseason it will take some of the weight of Jalen Brunson’s shoulders. Last year, he was considered an undeveloped player that wasn’t earning any minutes to show himself, but now he’s an ideal player for Tom Thibodeau’s tough, defensive system that can add that shooting flare that demands extra attention in very important games.