NY Knicks: Should Immanuel Quickley get a bigger role?

Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Immanuel Quickley should get more minutes. I wish I had a more eloquent intro paragraph here, but that pretty much covers it.

When the NY Knicks lose ball games this season, they lose ugly.

Every loss presents woe after woe after woe. The fanbase splinters when it comes to who should shoulder the blame.

A swath of Knicks fans seems pretty united, though, on who should be playing more minutes.

At one point in the game on January 20th against the Pelicans, with the Knicks down by what felt like a hundred, the Garden crowd started chanting for Obi Toppin.

Instinctively, I blurted out, “What the *expletive deleted* is Obi gonna do?”

That instinct was the right reaction at the moment.

With the team shooting 23% from three and allowing the Pelicans to shoot 50% from everywhere, a below-average three-point shooter and average defender wasn’t going to be the answer.

In the days since that game, a more methodical, level-headed realization has come into focus:

Should Immanuel Quickley start for the NY Knicks?

Knicks fans are chanting for the wrong 2020 Draft pick. Immanuel Quickley might be the fix that’s been staring us in the face the whole time.

It’s like Tom Thibodeau is Harry and Immanuel Quickley is Sally.

The data is there to support this idea. Per Cleaning the Glass (all data in the article is from Cleaning the Glass unless otherwise noted), the four typical starters (Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, and Evan Fournier) are -7.8 over 1069 possessions without Quickley.

With him, that lineup is +39.3. That puts them in the 100th percentile of league-wide lineups.

The issue is that lineup has only amassed 21 possessions halfway through the season. If you get more granular, the impact gets even clearer.

Regardless of who you think is the team’s leader, Quickley has a positive impact on the floor.

Randle is -6.2 on possessions without Quickley. With IQ, he’s +2.9. The same goes for Barrett.

Without Quickley, he’s -7.5. With IQ, he takes a massive jump to +5.2. Lineups with all three are +8.8, which is good for the 90th percentile in the NBA.

And yet, IQ only averages 22.4 minutes per game, per NBA.com.

I understand why fans want to see Toppin play more minutes. He’s electric. He’s a sparkplug, but it is Quickley that we should all be clamoring for.

C’mon Thibs. It’s New Year’s Eve. “Auld Lang Syne” is playing. Time to dedicate yourself to Quickley as a starter and closer for good.

Next. 2 different trades that bring Jalen Brunson to NY. dark