Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley is proving to be the team’s secret weapon

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Feb 13, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) reacts after a three point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks Sixth Man of The Year frontrunner Immanuel Quickley had the best game of his young career Monday in their 137-115 victory over the Houston Rockets, and did it while filling in for an injured Jalen Brunson.

Quickley scored a career-high 40 points on incredible efficiency, shooting 14-18 from the floor and 5-7 from outside the arc. He finished just one assist shy of a double-double in the victory and also recorded a block and a steal.

Quickley was given his second straight starting nod for this game after Brunson sat again with what is now being called a sprained right wrist.

Despite Brunson’s absence, the Knicks still had a fairly favorable matchup against a Rockets team that has the second-worst record in the NBA. Quickley used that favorable matchup to his advantage and played phenomenally, scoring on virtually all parts of the floor.

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Quickley’s stellar performance Monday followed a 25-point outing in the Knicks’ loss against the Orlando Magic. The third-year backup guard acknowledged the lethargy that was around the Knicks during the losing streak and emphasized the importance of the other guys stepping up in the midst of adversity.

“Everybody has to pick it up when one of your best players is out, whether that be scoring, defense, leadership,” Quickley said after the win. “You miss a lot of things when basically an All-Star is out. Everybody just has to be a little bit better, I think.”

Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley continues to boost Sixth Man campaign:

Quickley has quickly (pun intended) catapulted into becoming the frontrunner for the league’s Sixth Man of The Year award, thanks to his remarkable turnaround this season.

After a first half that was filled with struggles and trade rumors surrounding his name, Quickley has become a whole new player and is averaging 17.2 points per game and is shooting 47.3% from the floor and 38% from three-point range in his last 40 games.

His career game Monday was the peak of what has been a torrid and consistent stretch for him.

Quickley is now currently the odds-on favorite to win the award, and with only six games remaining on the season, it may be his award to lose from here on out.

The Knicks have two big games this week against the Heat and Cavaliers that will heavily determine where they will seed in the playoffs. Quickley’s performances have played a huge role into why the Knicks have a strong shot at the fifth seed in the East.

With Quickley playing at his best right now, New York is in a great position to be a very, very deep team in the playoffs and be a very tough matchup for anybody.

“Winning solves a lot of things,” Quickley said. “Winning makes everyone feel better.”

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