New York Knicks: 5 players Kyle O’Quinn should study

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 18: Kyle O'Quinn #9 of the New York Knicks is introduced before a game against the Boston Celtics on January 18, 2017 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 18: Kyle O'Quinn #9 of the New York Knicks is introduced before a game against the Boston Celtics on January 18, 2017 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 14: Taj Gibson #22 of the Chicago Bulls goes up for a dunk against the Toronto Raptors on February 14, 2017 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – FEBRUARY 14: Taj Gibson #22 of the Chicago Bulls goes up for a dunk against the Toronto Raptors on February 14, 2017 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

5. Taj Gibson

Kyle O’Quinn is a better rebounder and passer than Taj Gibson, but the quality of the teams they play for is telling. The reason that Gibson continues to gain employment by championship hopefuls is his uncompromising commitment to defending at the highest possible level.

If O’Quinn is going to maximize his potential as an NBA player, then Gibson’s level of defensive intensity must become a part of his arsenal.

Gibson has 585 regular season games played, 245 regular season starts, 61 postseason games played, and 12 postseason starts. He’s received those opportunities due to the respect he commands on the defensive end of the floor.

With the ability to defend both interior positions, as well as an intimidation factor as a rim protector, Gibson has found the niche that O’Quinn is capable of discovering himself.

If O’Quinn were to provide the same level of defensive intensity as Gibson, his role would be far more consistent with the New York Knicks. He’d be the perfect complement to Willy Hernangomez and Kristaps Porzingis, if not a potential short-term starter.

Defensive consistency and offensive unselfishness is the name of the game with Gibson, and the same should go for O’Quinn.