Knicks look to begin new win streak against Suns

immanuel quickley, knicks
Dec 31, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) shoots as center Mitchell Robinson (23) sets up a pick against Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) in the third quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks (19-18) look to begin a new win streak when they head back home to Madison Square for a Monday afternoon game against the Phoenix Suns (20-17).

After going 1-2 in the Texas Triangle road trip, the Knicks will now be facing one of the better teams in the NBA in Phoenix.

The Knicks are coming off a victory in their last game, while the Suns are coming off of a loss. Both teams are in the midst of droughts, with the Knicks just ending a five-game losing streak and the Suns dropping six of their last ten.

Both teams have also been missing key star players since their respective Christmas Day games, with the Knicks missing Jalen Brunson and the Suns missing Devin Booker.

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The Knicks have gotten incredible production out of Immanuel Quickley lately:

In Brunson’s absence, Immanuel Quickley has assumed the starting point guard position, and he has been brilliant. In three games as a starter in Brunson’s absence, Quickley is averaging 25.3 PPG and 9.7 APG, and 1.3 SPG.

While his efficiency is down, only shooting just 35.6% from the field and 28.6% from deep, his improved playmaking and high-volume scoring have given the Knicks a much-needed boost, especially given that they are already missing RJ Barrett (finger) and Obi Toppin (knee) for the foreseeable future.

For the Suns, Booker had missed several games before attempting to return for their Christmas game against the Denver Nuggets. He last just four minutes into the game before being taken out after re-aggravating his groin injury and is now out indefinitely.

The Knicks catch a break with Booker’s absence, as Booker is averaging 27.1 PPG and is shooting 47.7% from the field and 37% from outside the arc so far this season, and is among one of the league’s several MVP candidates right now.

However, what could give the Knicks trouble is the Suns’ knockdown perimeter shooting. Their 38.6% team three-point percentage ranks third in the entire NBA. The Knicks have had their issues guarding the perimeter for a majority of the season, so Phoenix’s wide range of shooters could give New York fits.

The key for the Knicks to get a home win against one of the more competitive teams in the NBA will be to shut down their shooters.

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has said that the team needs to get their defense “tied together.” That will definitely need to happen on Tuesday.

Looking at injuries, the Knicks have Barrett and Toppin both listed as out, while Brunson is questionable.

For the Suns, Booker and Cam Johnson are both listed as out, while Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet are probable.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @DylanBacker_