Jalen Brunson’s arrival means Immanuel Quickley needs to own Knicks’ sixth man role

Mar 23, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) drives past Charlotte Hornets forward center PJ Washington (25) during the first half at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 23, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) drives past Charlotte Hornets forward center PJ Washington (25) during the first half at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports /

Going into year three, Immanuel Quickley must take on a bigger role in 2022-23 with the New York Knicks. Recent moves that the Knicks made, such as dealing away Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks to the Detroit Pistons, have opened up playing time for key players.

IQ should benefit from more playing time, as fans have become accustomed to seeing him score at ease off the bench.

The 2022-23 season is a big one for New York, as the team just signed Jalen Brunson to a four-year deal and are hoping to reclaim a spot in the postseason. In order for that to happen, though, the Knicks are going to need energy from the bench unit.

Derrick Rose played a huge role in the magnificent 2020-2021 season coming off the bench and his right-hand man was IQ. But it’s time for the 23-year-old to take over now. If New York wants to contend for a playoff spot, the team’s going to need a big season out of their 2020 first-round draft pick.

Immanuel Quickley needs to get starter-like minutes off the bench for the Knicks

When Quickley is on the court for New York, the offense becomes dangerous. He is a lethal threat from behind the arc, as he has averaged 3 three-point field goals per 36 minutes throughout his career. As a rookie when the Knicks claimed the four spot in the East, Quickley averaged 21.2 minutes per 36 minutes. When IQ is on, New York’s at its best.

If New York allows Quickley to come off the bench, but still get starter-like minutes, it would be to the team’s advantage. Similar to Miami, the Knicks have a lot of depth. If a Donovan Mitchell trade doesn’t happen, Quentin Grimes or Evan Fournier will likely be the starting shooting guard, which means Quickley should be the first to come off the bench.

This past season Tyler Herro captured the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award and the Heat finished first in the conference. Although Herro was coming off the bench, he still averaged 32.6 minutes per game. This allowed Miami to get Herro on the court as much as possible and he shined, as he finished the season scoring 20.7 points per game.

IQ is capable of not only playing with the starters, but he can also lead the bench unit. He is able to create his own shot with ease, along with finding his open teammates. His chemistry with the team is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Quickley would thrive in a role where he comes off the bench, but still gets a big chunk of playing time. The Knicks have a dangerous weapon in Quickley and just because there isn’t a spot for him in the starting lineup doesn’t mean they shouldn’t utilize him as much as they can.

Immanuel Quickley’s passing ability for the Knicks is overlooked

His passing ability could certainly use improvement, but he bettered his passing significantly after his rookie season. In Quickley’s first year, he only averaged 3.7 assists per 36 minutes, but he improved that number to 5.5 in his second season.

In the latter part of this past season when he was given an opportunity to start, he didn’t disappoint, as he recorded two triple-doubles when his minutes were increased. One of those triple-doubles was a 34-point triple-double performance against the Toronto Raptors, where he became the youngest Knick ever to accomplish the feat.

Quickley has shown his ability to take over games with his smooth shot, quick ball handling, and productive passing. He has all the tools to become a top guard, but he just needs to be given the opportunity.

Brunson and Quickley could be a lethal offensive duo for the Knicks

Quickley is a lethal shooter and he can pull up for three from anywhere. In today’s NBA, the game revolves around the three-point shot. With Brunson now joining the Knicks, it spreads out the court even more. Quickley coming off the bench to sub in with the majority of the starters would help their play as well.

A Brunson and Quickley pairing on the court would be very fun to watch. They both have a similar style of play and are quick with the ball. The pace of the offense would certainly be at its highest with those two on the court. The threat from beyond the arc with those two would allow for more lanes to open up for slashers like RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, and Obi Toppin.

Utilizing both of the best shooters on the court at the same time could unlock a dangerous pairing for New York. Quickley coming off the bench early on into the game would provide a spark for the newly acquired point guard.

Brunson is coming off a season in which he averaged 1.2 three-point field goals per game while shooting 37.3% from beyond the arc. With Quickley on the court at the same time, you can only expect those numbers to increase, as Quickley will take pressure off of him.

Quickley is ready to take on a bigger role. He can’t be looked at as a developmental piece any longer and he needs to own the sixth man role. The Knicks need to make sure that Quickley is on the court as much as possible so that he can be an impact player in 2022-23.