New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley’s late surge did not go unnoticed.
Quickley, who had two triple-doubles in the Knicks’ final five games, received two third-place votes in the NBA Sixth Man of the Year race, eventually won by Miami Heat’s Tyler Herro.
The former Kentucky combo guard averaged 16.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in his last 22 games. Quickley shot 43.7 percent from the field and 39 percent from deep during that hot stretch on four three-point attempts.
Quickley’s inclusion as a Sixth Man of the Year candidate bodes well for his future. He came into the NBA drawing comparisons to Lou Williams, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year.
Quickley has shifted his play from just a spark plug off the bench to a potential starting point guard, attested by his impact on winning when given starter’s minutes. The Knicks went 11-5 in games where Quickley played at least 30 minutes, producing 18.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and a scorching 41 percent from the outside on 7.5 attempts.
In his second season, Quickley sustained his scoring (11.4 from 11.3 points per game) from his rookie year and made a marked improvement in rebounding (2.1 to 3.2 rebounds) and playmaking (2.0 to 3.5 assists).
The Knicks have an interesting summer ahead. They have to decide what to make do of Quickley’s growth in his second year. Are they ready to give him the keys to their backcourt? Or swing for the fences and pursue Dallas Mavericks’ breakout star Jalen Brunson or perhaps Utah Jazz Donovan Mitchell if he suddenly becomes available.
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