Quentin Grimes: A Guardian of Excellence in BasketballNovember 11, 2023
Trae Young struggled to break down Quentin Grimes in the Knicks’ second game of the season against the Atlanta Hawks. Grimes showcased his reputation as one of the league’s premier perimeter defensive stoppers, repeatedly stopping Young in his tracks. Despite using screens from Clint Capela, Young was unable to shake Grimes’ on-ball pressure. Grimes also absorbed a screen from Capela at the top of the key, yet managed to stay on Young’s hip and disrupt his rhythm, holding Young to 4-of-16 shooting from the field and forcing six turnovers.
Grimes’ defensive prowess has earned him praise from teammates and opponents alike. New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau trusts Grimes as the point of attack defender, checking the opposing team’s best perimeter scorer. Grimes believes he belongs in the conversation for the best perimeter defender in basketball.
The Knicks’ opening schedule included matchups against elite scoring options such as Young, Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum, C.J. McCollum, Brandon Ingram, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard. Grimes’ versatility and relentlessness were on full display throughout this challenging stretch. He took on tough defensive assignments night after night, never backing down from the challenge.
Grimes’ defensive intensity is rooted in his competitive nature and upbringing at the University of Houston, where he honed his defensive skills. Despite being overmatched in size against some opponents, Grimes’ toughness and determination enable him to hold his own against star players. However, there was one player he wasn’t eager to defend – Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans.
In a matchup against the Pelicans, Grimes found himself guarding Williamson after a switch on defense. Grimes, aware of Williamson’s physical prowess, sought help from his teammate Julius Randle. Grimes’ ability to adapt to challenging defensive assignments and remain composed under pressure has solidified his status as a top defensive player in the league. Despite facing formidable opponents, Grimes continues to embrace the challenge of shutting down the opposing team’s best players.