Knicks’ Miles McBride exudes ‘mental toughness’ in stellar 48-minute effort

After a four-game road trip out west and waking up for an early Saturday game at Madison Square Garden, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau credited his team with “mental toughness.” 

It was certainly something Miles McBride has continued to embody, logging a full 48 minutes in the Knicks’ 105-93 victory against the Nets — his third straight 40-plus-minute performance in which he has only received about five minutes of rest combined. 

“Honestly, it’s mental,” McBride said. “Just telling myself to keep pushing through, give everything I’ve got in order to get the win.” 

Miles McBrideof the New York Knicks reacts after hitting a 3-point shot during the second half. Robert Sabo for NY Post

McBride, who started over Precious Achiuwa for the second straight game, scored 26 points, shooting 9 of 16 from the field including six 3-pointers. 

“I tried not to look over,” he added when asked about wanting a sub. “I wanted to stay in.” 

While the Knicks returned home to a light four-game stretch against lottery-bound teams, they knew their rival across the East River would still pose a challenge, and McBride was given Nets sharpshooter Cam Thomas to guard. 

Despite having scored an average of 25 points over the past seven games entering Saturday, Thomas was held to 19 points and only shot 1-for-5 from beyond the arc. 

“Deuce was terrific defensively, because he’s chasing Thomas around and Thomas is a load to deal with,” Thibodeau said. 

Miles McBride jumps up to defend Cameron Johnson during the Knicks’ 105-93 win over the Nets. Robert Sabo for NY Post

The uptick in minutes isn’t something that McBride, 23, had been accustomed to prior to signing a three-year contract extension of $13 million on the same day RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley were dealt to the Raptors. 

The third-year guard went from not seeing any time on the court to solidifying a full-time role in the Knicks’ rotation with loaded minutes. 

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Since the Dec. 30 trade and extension, McBride has logged eight appearances of more than 35 minutes, with six of them 40-plus.

Over those same eight games, he’s scored an average of 17 points. 

Miles McBride helped key a Knicks victory. Robert Sabo for NY Post

“The thing is you, there’s nothing that you don’t love about Deuce,” Thibodeau said of his guard’s big production. “From the moment we drafted him and even when he wasn’t playing, that tells you a lot because of the way he worked. A guy’s work ethic is a big part of it, too. His drive … so it’s a credit to him. He’s in phenomenal shape. He stays in phenomenal shape. He takes care of himself. So I think he has the ability to do it [long minutes].” 

Rest has been key for McBride off the court, along with his running routine, biking and “game-like” practices to help him physically.

The mental fortitude is something he said has been developing forever. 

“It started when I was a child, how I was raised. My parents were always telling me to be mentally strong, you’re a leader out there,” McBride explained. “People are looking to you. So if you crack, then it goes in line, so I just want to be as strong as I can and continue to do what I do.” 

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