Knicks: Tom Thibodeau praises hard-working guard following stellar performance against the Lakers

New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) celebrates against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half at Arena
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Immanuel Quickley has seen a dip in minutes as the 2023-24 NBA season has drawn on, but it has not dampened his play, as his most recent 20-point performance against the Los Angeles Lakers had New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau sing his praises.

Quickley’s Confidence Impressing Knicks Coach Tom Thibodeau

Thibodeau lauded Quickley for remaining professional and translating his work from practice to the game, saying this per New York Basketball:

Quickley’s high octane offensive repertoire usually exudes confidence and that has not changed this season.

As it stands, Quickley is the only player in the NBA that averages at least 15 points per game in under 25 minutes of action. His ability to enter the game and get hot is rivaled by few in the league.

There have been factors that could have impacted Quickley’s play on the court. A $7 million difference in contract negotiations caused an extension to fall through between him and the Knicks’ front office. Seeing roughly five fewer minutes a night while newly acquired Donte DiVincenzo has gained favor in Thibodeau’s late-game lineup has taken away from his time and created a battle at shooting guard also featuring Quentin Grimes and Josh Hart.

Through all of the obstacles he’s faced, Quickley has been the sparkplug the Knicks have expected him to be. Quickley approaching restricted free agency at the end of the season is all the more reason why the 24-year-old guard has shown out the way he has.

Will Coach Thibodeau Actionize His Words and Give Quickley a Bump in Time?

It’s now up to Thibodeau to show how much they believe in him with an increase in minutes to prove his words. The Knicks are a high-volume shooting team, currently 11th in made threes and sixth in three-point percentage. On the flip side, they’ve struggled greatly on defense since Mitchell Robinson went down, allowing at least 130 points to four of their last seven opponents.

Quickley will look to keep up his strong play and continue to improve on the defensive end as the Knicks carry momentum from their 114-109 win over the Lakers into their next matchup against the Brooklyn Nets tomorrow night.

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