After a season in which we did not see many statistical improvements out of Immanuel Quickley, many Knicks fans are unsure of what direction the young guard will go in this season. Will he emerge as a young star? Or will he remain a role player?
Obviously, it is difficult to judge the kind of a leap a player will make in a season. However, there was a lot to like out of Quickley last year, especially towards the end of the season as we began to see him make massive jumps as both a scorer and playmaker.
If Quickley can keep up the hot level of play he showcased towards the end of the season, there is no telling how high his ceiling will be.
Immanuel Quickley can make a huge jump as a scorer and playmaker for the Knicks
Last year, Immanuel Quickley averaged 11.3 PPG, 3.5 APG, and 3.2 RPG while shooting 39.2% from the field and 34.6% from three. While for the most part, this was a fall off from what Quickley did his rookie season, he was still able to flash an insane amount of potential.
For example, in the final 20 games of the season, Quickley averaged 16.4 PPG, 5.3 APG, and 5.6 RPG while shooting a much improved 43.5% from the field and 38.9% from three. However, what may be the most impressive part about this run outside of his scoring was Quickley’s potential as a playmaker. His 5.3 assists to 1.3 turnovers is very impressive and shows that one day he could play a huge role as a secondary playmaker for the team, or that he could be the first playmaker off the bench.
Before the Jalen Brunson signing, I was personally rooting for Quickley to be the starting point guard. I still believe that Quickley can provide a ton of value as the backup point guard or shooting guard.
However, this may not happen, as in the past we have seen just how reluctant head coach Tom Thibodeau is to give the young guys big minutes. Despite this, Thibodeau must realize the talent he has in Quickley and provide him with the proper minutes.
I understand that “if he plays big minutes” is a lot of hypotheticals to throw onto a 23-year-old, but we have seen what Quickley is capable of when given big minutes. In the final game of the year, Quickley played 41 minutes and dropped 34 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds. Obviously, this is not an every time thing when Quickley gets big minutes, however, you have to love the potential that he flashed to close out 2021-22.
Immanuel Quickley could be the potential backup point guard for the Knicks
While it is more likely that Derrick Rose will start the year as the team’s official backup point guard and that Quickley will slide to the two-guard spot, I still believe that there is a chance that we will see Quickley take the mantle as the backup point guard behind Brunson.
If the Knicks perform poorly again next season, there is a good chance that we will see the front office move on from the veteran players, including Rose. That could potentially open up the door for Quickley to play the point.
Obviously, Rose is the better player right now, but there is a 10-year age gap between the two. It may be more beneficial in the long run for the Knicks to focus on Quickley’s development as opposed to playing Rose bigger minutes.
To sum it up, Quickley showed a lot of potential last year despite the lack of a statistical improvement. The Knicks need to understand the potential he has and finally give him the big minutes he deserves. Not only will it be extremely beneficial to Quickley’s development, but his three-point shooting and playmaking are something that the team desperately needs.
Quickley could play a huge role for the team in 2022-23, let’s just hope that Thibodeau stops being so stubborn about playing him.