Could Immanuel Quickley's relationship with Knicks be approaching a boiling point?

Apr 9, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) talks with head
Apr 9, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley (5) talks with head / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Why is it that every time New York Knicks fans fully buy back into R.J. Barrett and Tom Thibodeau, both of them have a string of games that make fans regret that gesture? Fans have tolerated the seesawing for a long time, but patience might be wearing thin now that one of the Knicks best players, Immanuel Quickley, has become collateral damage.

Knicks fans' frustration with Thibodeau insisting on playing Barrett more minutes than Quickley culminated in Wednesday's loss in Oklahoma City when Thibodeau yanked Quickley for Barrett with four minutes to go and the Knicks down seven points. It didn't work. Not even close.

The Knicks should be grateful that Quickley and his camp haven't publicly complained about the player's baffling usage. That could change soon, though, and you better believe Quickley's camp will be happy to mention the fact that his contract negotiations purportedly never made it off the ground.

It feels like this could get messy if Thibodeau doesn't smarten up.

Could Immanuel Quickley's relationship with Knicks be nearing a boiling point?

Credit to Quickley for keeping his head down, but at some point he won't have a choice but to go public to defend his indefensible lack of playing time.

Barrett's been as inefficient as ever spanning over a month since he returned from his bout with migraines. He's been unplayable in certain games, and yet Thibodeau has preferred the slumping lefty to his Six Man of the Year candidate.

At the time Quickley was subbed in Wednesday's loss, he shot 7-of-10 with 22 points in 25 minutes. Thibodeau explained after the game that he wanted Barrett's length on the floor -- the same excuse he used after New York's Christmas Day win against the Bucks when the coach pulled Quickley for Barrett with three and a half minutes to play. At that point, Quickley had 20 points in 22 minutes while shooting 70%.

Since the end of November, Barrett's logged 99 more minutes than Quickley despite having a -69 plus/minus and -9.4 net rating. Quickley's been a +58 during that span with a +11.3 net rating. We don't mean for Donte DiVincenzo to catch a stray, but even he's managed more minutes than Quickely over this stretch.

If you take the last 15 games into account, Quickley's +86 is the best on the team and nearly 30 more than any other Knick. Barrett's -83 is the worst.

Maybe Thibodeau comes around and starts giving Quickley his deserved uptick in minutes at Barrett's expense. Whether it's Barrett or another player, Quickley's role needs to change soon before this relationship comes to a head.

It's honestly shocking and a credit to Quickely that nothing's happened yet given the lack of ground that was made in extension talks.

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