Rookie guards Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes are looking like guys who will press to make coach Tom Thibodeau’s tight rotation.
Late in the second quarter Monday night, McBride received an inbounds pass under the hoop and dunked emphatically on Atlanta’s rookie point guard Sharife Cooper.
It was McBride’s signature moment of the night and of his stellar summer league performance.
McBride and Grimes put forth a second straight gem to close the Las Vegas Summer League in style.
The West Virginia point guard came off the bench to score all 19 of his points in the first half, making 5 of 8 3-pointers (finishing summer league 18 of 36), notched four assists and played his trademark tough defense as his college coach Bob Huggins came to Las Vegas to watch.
Meanwhile, Grimes rang up 28 points as the Knicks routed Atlanta, 104-85, at Thomas & Mack Center, to finish their summer league season with a 4-2 record.
After a slow start, Grimes, the Knicks’ first-round pick at No. 25, exploded for 68 points in the final three games.
Monday, the University of Houston product scored the game’s first nine points — all 3-pointers, finishing summer league 22 of 54 from 3 (40.7 percent). In fact, Grimes executed a six-point possession. He drilled a 3, got fouled, missed the free throw but got the long rebound and made another from downtown.
McBride badly outclassed Cooper, the well-touted Auburn star whom the Knicks passed on four times in the draft. After McBride dunked on Cooper, the Hawks point guard dribbled downcourt and McBride harassed him into an airball.
Cooper, who fell to 48th in the draft, sat out the second half with what was said to be a stomachache — or perhaps the McBride Flu. A source told The Post that McBride outplayed Cooper in their Knicks draft workout, too.
“That’s how I get my offense going,’’ McBride said of his defense. “It’s really coming in, stopping guys and giving energy to the team and that gives me offensive opportunities.
“I thought I played well but never satisfied because that’s when your opponents catch up. I had a pretty solid summer league, coming in to learn a whole new system. I did well in that but a lot things to improve on.’’
As one NBA scout said in Las Vegas, “He ain’t scared of the moment and plays on both sides.’’
Ironically, McBride and Grimes looked better Monday than the Knicks 2020 first-rounders. Starting point guard Immanuel Quickley had another awful shooting night (3 of 18, 3 of 14 from 3, finishing just 12 of 50 in Vegas) but dished out seven assists. Obi Toppin had the worst of his six games, held to 11 points (4 of 12) and nine rebounds.
Meanwhile, Knicks rookie center Jericho Sims, selected 58th, looked spry again with 13 rebounds and six points, showing he could see some NBA time after signing a two-way G-League contract.
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