clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Quick shout out to Donte DiVincenzo

The newest Knick is queitly having a huge impact

NBA: New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There was a time earlier this season when Donte DiVincenzo looked a bit out of sorts. He wasn’t playing awfully, and his shooting and defense were still solid enough to warrant his contract and playing time, but there was something a bit off. Through 11 games, the backup guard was averaging just 7.1 PPG and three RPG on an incredibly inefficient 36% shooting from the field and 31% shooting from beyond the arc. But thanks to some adjustments, time, and a much-welcomed move to the starting lineup, all of that seems to be a thing of the past.

Since his 11th game, DiVincenzo has averaged 11.7 PPG on 50.8% shooting from the field and 51% shooting from three. In fact, he’s playing so well right now that he’s managed to up his average to 17.2 points per 36 minutes, which would be a career-high by a large margin. Now, taking Quentin Grimes out of the starting lineup in favor of DiVincenzo has taken its toll on the dense; that can’t be denied. Despite DiVincenzo being a solid on-ball defender and an above-average team defender, he just cannot replace Grimes and his invaluable point-of-attack defense. Nevertheless, DiVincenzo’s defense has still been serviceable and a slight adjustment of taking him off the opposing teams’ best players has helped his defensive impact as well. On top of that, his outside shooting has been of tremendous value over the last couple of weeks, and it’s becoming clear that on that side of the ball, his aggressiveness and effectiveness from beyond the arc is a better fit with the starting lineup as things currently stand.

And at the moment, there’s an increasingly growing argument that DiVincenzo should not only start but play even more minutes. In the 12 games that DiVincenzo has played 20-29 minutes, he is averaging 14.8PPG on 53% shooting from the field and 50% shooting from beyond the arc. Unfortunately for DiVincenzo though, he plays on a roster that is filled with guards and wings that are deserving of getting 20+ minutes so we may never get to see him consistently get those kinds of minutes. That being said, having a playing time problem stemming from too much talent is not the worst problem to have, especially for a team that is in the position the Knicks are in. In the case that an injury or a major trade happens, they now know that DiVincenzo is more than capable of holding down the starting shooting guard position if needed.

Fans should temper expectations a bit, as his current shooting splits may be hard to sustain for the entirety of a season. DiVincenzo, as good as he has been for the Knicks, will come back down to earth and will have off nights from time to time. And when that happens, it will be interesting to see if a starting lineup switch gets brought back up. But until then, we should all be thankful and appreciative of just how amazing DiVincenzo has been for them.