New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) drives to the...

New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks forward Jordan Nwora (13) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, on Sunday, Dec 12, 2021. The Bucks beat the Knicks 112-97. Credit: Brad Penner

The Knicks took another hit Tuesday morning with a third player lost to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.Quentin Grimes, who got his first career start Sunday when the Knicks were shorthanded already and responded with a 27-point performance, was placed in the league’s health and safety protocols. He joins Obi Toppin and RJ Barrett in protocols.

The team did not disclose when he tested positive or his symptoms. But a vaccinated player can be in protocols for either a positive test or an inconclusive test. If positive, a player can discontinue isolation and rejoin his team after either 10 days from the date of his first positive test or after he returns two negative tests taken 24 hours apart — the first is the time-based resolution and the second is the test-based resolution — and either one clears a player from protocols.

The absence gave an opportunity for rookie Miles "Deuce" McBride, who had played just 13 minutes total before Tuesday. McBride had eight points and four rebounds in 20 minutes.

"Deuce is a good player, man, a good young player," Derrick Rose said. "His confidence is very high. His defense is top tier. And he just needs time. Hopefully, Thibs gives him the time. But we know how good he is and we know how good the rookies are. It’s all about opportunity in this league."

Grounded

Golden State not only had to contend with the pressures of Steph Curry’s three-point record chase, but the everyman troubles of plane issues to get to New York.

The team had planned to fly to New York following Monday’s game in Indiana, but mechanical issues grounded them.

"We sat the arena last night for about an hour, waiting to hear what the verdict would be - another plane to come in last night or spend the night," Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. "It wasn’t too bad. We ended up staying at the same hotel, 9:30 bus this morning and here we are. I told some of the coaches it’s still better than the old days. My first few years we flew commercial. This was routine to have a back to back where you fly in the day of the game, but we were on continental instead of charters. It was a little harder."