New York Knicks: 4 Players who exceeded expectations this season

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New York Knicks
Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

New York Knicks who exceeded expectations: Immanuel Quickley

Many were confused on draft night when the Knicks traded up to obtain Quickley with the 25th pick, as he was expected to be selected in the middle of the second round. Even for the fans that were happy with the pick, they anticipated that the Kentucky guard would likely be an end-of-the-bench player who might appear in the G-League in order to get some extra reps.

Instead, Quickley has had one of the best rookie seasons in Knicks history and has carved out his own role in the team’s rotation, an impressive feat considering that Thibodeau doesn’t typically play first-year guys that often. For example, 5-time All-Star Jimmy Butler averaged just 8.5 minutes per game as a rookie under Thibs.

Quickley finished his first year averaging 11.4 points in 19.4 minutes per game while shooting 38.9% from behind the arc.

He has flashed an offensive skill set that is tailor-made for the modern NBA, showing an ability to draw fouls at a high rate while also being adept at shooting off-the-dribble threes.

In fact, 39% of his made threes were unassisted this year. That is the highest mark on the team by far. He’s also shown an unlimited shooting range, routinely hitting threes that are well beyond the typical distance that most players shoot from.

Quickley shot 36.8% on threes that were 30+ feet away from the basket. For reference, Stephen Curry shot 39.4% from that same distance while Damian Lillard hit 33.8% of his shots from beyond 30 feet.

While those two veterans are admittedly attempting more shots from that distance than Quickley, it’s still incredibly impressive that a rookie is taking and making shots that rival some of the best shooters in the league.

It’s going to be extremely exciting to see how he fares in the playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks. In three regular-season games against them, Quickley averaged 17.3 points and shot an absurd 59% from three.