The New York Knicks are gearing up for hopes to be a big 2021–22 season with elevated expectations after a surprising campaign last year.
With big free-agent acquisitions and developing talent, the Knicks are in good shape for the future, but one of their players has been earning glowing reviews from head coach Tom Thibodeau. Two-way guard Immanuel Quickley is preparing to take on his sophomore season, and if all goes to plan, he will be an essential piece moving forward on both offense and defense.
During his rookie season, Quickley averaged 11.4 points, 2.0 assists, 2.1 rebounds, and shooting 39.5% from the field. He also connected on 39% of his three-point attempts and 89% on his free throws.
Quickley proved that he can be a dominant shooter in the league. His opportunities with the second team this upcoming season will be essential for his long-term projection/trajectory.
“The best thing about Quick is that he’s a student of the game, he’s a sponge,” Tom Thibodeau said a few days ago. “… He’s great at watching film, then coming in the next day and working on (a new move). Then after a short period of time, because of the type of commitment that he’s willing to make … he masters it.
Quickley surprised everybody with his exciting floater, derived from veteran Derrick Rose, who helped him perfect it. The second-year player continues to add different elements to his game, but improving his defensive efficiency is a priority if he wants to earn maximum minutes.
Thibs continued to rave about his qualities, harping specifically on his floater, which he coined as “special.”
“So, that’s what I love about him. His shot-making is special. His floater is special. I think he’s gotten a lot stronger, and I think he understands the league a lot better now. But I think his approach, he’s very open-minded. He wants to learn. He’s got great concentration.”
Quickley seemed like the lottery pick last year over Obi Toppin, but both players have essential traits for becoming solid NBA players. Luckily, the team has so many veterans to go around they don’t need to rush their youngsters into starting roles, allowing them to develop at their own pace with the expectation they will make an impact as reserves in the short term, but starters in the long term.
Having veterans like Rose and Kemba Walker to help him grow is a huge benefit, and the Knicks are confident Immanuel will continue to impress, starting with his work ethic.