One of the New York Knicks’ biggest strengths is their depth, and a large portion of said depth comes from sixth man Immanuel Quickley, who has been stellar off the bench to start the season.
Immanuel Quickley sparks a Knicks run off the bench against the Heat
In Friday night’s thrilling comeback win over the Miami Heat, Quickley sparked the second-half rally and finished with 20 points on 8-17 shooting, four rebounds, two assists, and one block, and was a game-high +22 in 26 minutes off the bench.
He and Jalen Brunson hit several clutch shots to cut into the large deficit the Knicks were facing, and their efforts resulted in one of their most resilient victories in recent memory.
“Quickley gives them another energy when he comes in,” said Doc Rivers on the ESPN broadcast of the game. “You can literally see it when he comes in.”
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Quickley is playing well enough to be a starter
With the Knicks failing to reach an extension with last year’s Sixth Man of The Year runner-up in the offseason, many wondered how that would impact his game. Evidently, he may be playing with a slight chip on his shoulder this season.
This season, Quickley is averaging a career-best 15.7 points per game with a 57.9% true shooting percentage. He also is tied for the most 20+ point games coming off the bench this season, per Statmuse.
At this point, there is no denying that his talent level fits the criteria to be a starter, but with Brunson around that limits Quickley to a bench role. However, having him at the Knicks’ disposal in the second unit is paying dividends, as it gives them depth that most teams are not as fortunate to have.
Could Quickley win the Sixth Man of The Year Award?
Quickley is certainly in the running for the Sixth Man of The Year Award yet again, and this could be the year he wins it. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Quickley has the second-best odds to win the hardware behind Mavericks’ Tim Hardaway Jr.
It will be interesting to see how the remainder of this season plays out, and how that will impact contract negotiations when he becomes a restricted free agent next offseason.
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