Diving into Immanuel Quickley’s fast development with the Knicks

Dylan Backer
Immanuel Quickley, knicks
Oct 21, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) and Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes (7) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks picked up Immanuel Quickley’s 4th-year option on Wednesday. For now, this looks to be the right move for the Knicks, as the former Kentucky guard is developing quickly (pun intended).

When you take a look at Quickley’s stats, you might say that he is trending downwards as his shot percentages overall have dropped in the course of his 3 seasons. However, if you take a look at different areas of his game, you will notice that he is improving in many other aspects aside from shooting.

Playmaking:

The first half of the 2021-22 season was shaping up to be a sophomore slump for Quickley, averaging just over 9 points and only 3 assists per game before the All-Star break. However, Quickley really kicked it up a notch after the All-Star Break, scoring 16 PPG and averaging 4.8 assists in that span. He took advantage of the extra playing time that was given to him while Derrick Rose was dealing with an injury.

This season has gotten to a slow start from a scoring standpoint for Quickley, averaging just over 7 PPG on abysmal shooting. However, over the first four games, Quickley is averaging 4.5 APG with 2.25 AST/TO Ratio, as well as an 8.5 net rating. That is a remarkable improvement in such a short amount of time, even in spite of the small sample size of games played this season.

“Teams are playing me as a scorer, so I try to create for my teammates.”

Immanuel Quickley on his mindset

Rebounding:

Quickley is not the most physically intimating among guards, being listed at just 6’3″ and 190 lbs. Despite this, he has not let that prevent from being active on the glass, averaging 5.1 RPG in his previous 20 games dating back to last season.

Quickley has branded himself as a lightning-in-a-bottle type player. He plays physical, quick (pun intended again) and shows off some athleticism with his tenacity on the boards. He also loves to get the ball out in transition, leaking out Tom Brady-esque outlet passes off of obtaining defensive rebounds, as well as moving the ball hastily after ferociously grabbing offensive rebounds.

Getting more active on the glass is a clear sign of growing confidence, which is very important to his overall development.

How his role has changed with the Knicks:

Quickley’s first two seasons as a Knick have mostly been limited to a bench role as a second guard off of the bench. However, as his young career has progressed, he has gotten plenty more action, including leading the team in minutes coming off the bench since 2021 at 22.4 MPG (minimum 15 games as a reserve).

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has also expressed willingness to use Quickley late in games, as the 3rd year guard averages 8.4 minutes in the fourth quarter for his career and nine fourth-quarter minutes a game last season.

He has been apart of closing lineups several times and has come through when needed to, as he is shooting a superb 38.4% in the 4th quarter in his career while also facilitating well in the clutch, owning a +/- of +63 in the 4th quarter for his career. His fiery personality has been the type of energy the Knicks need, as he has proven time and time again that the lights of Madison Square Garden are not too bright for him.

Quickley is a player who puts the team’s success ahead of his own. He strives to make a positive impact every chance he gets constantly. Whether it’s scoring, rebounding, playmaking, etc. Quickley is always sure to make his presence felt each time he steps on the hardwood. His improvement is taking shape quickly (pun intended once again), and will surely make the Knicks a deeper team once his game has matured.

“Every night is not always your night to score but you can still have a positive impact on the game. That’s what I learned in college… and then some nights it is going to be my night to score and when it is I take full advantage of that. I think that’s what makes our team really unique, we have a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things.”

Immanuel Quickley on the impact he expects to make on the floor via SNY