The Knicks have loads of guards competing for a spot in Tom Thibodeau’s rotation. Immanuel Quickley made a robust case for himself on Wednesday.
The rookie helped New York come from behind within the second half to beat the Cavs on Wednesday. The Knicks outscored the Cavs by 19 in Quickley’s 25 minutes. He had 9 factors and 7 assists, defending and making performs in his first NBA sport at Madison Sq. Backyard.
“We received going off our protection and I assumed Fast was terrific,” Tom Thibodeau stated. “(His) ball strain, the truth that he can shoot the way in which he can, it opens up the ground.”
Quickley performed 10 minutes in New York’s first two preseason video games, enjoying behind the massive group of guards vying for minutes. Frank Ntilikina was unavailable on Wednesday as a result of a sore Achilles. The damage might have opened up a possibility for Quickley – and he took benefit.
“I don’t know whether or not he’s some extent guard or taking pictures guard. However he’s a guard,” Thibodeau stated when requested about Quickley’s place. “He’s very good and he’s robust. I believe you may put the ball in his arms. He can run the offense, he can play off the ball. And that’s what makes him onerous to protect. You’re going to have to protect him off the dribble and also you’re going to have to protect him off catch and shoot as nicely. He’s getting higher and higher. Very productive.”
Quickley performed off the ball at Kentucky final season however had performed level guard for a lot of his novice profession. He can play off the ball within the NBA due to his taking pictures. However Quickley, 6-3, made it clear that he feels comfy with the ball in his arms when he was requested about enjoying level guard throughout his post-game interview on Wednesday.
“Coming in, I used to be attempting to inform all of the NBA groups that I am anyone who simply occurred to play off the ball at Kentucky that one 12 months, my sophomore 12 months,” Quickley stated. “I can actually do each (play on and off the ball).”
It’s unclear the place Quickley suits into Thibodeau’s rotations. However the coach appears to have faith the 21-year-old. Quickley, taken 25th general by New York within the 2020 NBA Draft, will seemingly be competing with Elfrid Payton, Dennis Smith Jr., Ntilikina and RJ Barrett for minutes in New York’s backcourt.
On Wednesday, Quickley was the lead guard in a lineup that included Barrett, Kevin Knox, Obi Toppin and Mitchell Robinson. That lineup helped spark New York within the fourth quarter, when the membership went on a decisive 19-2 run towards a Cavs staff that was enjoying its reserves.
Mitch efficient regardless of foul bother
Robinson began at heart on Wednesday. It was his first begin of the preseason. In New York’s first two video games, Robinson got here off the bench behind Nerlens Noel. On Wednesday, Robinson picked up two early fouls within the first quarter and third quarter. He was in a position to have an effect within the second half whereas enjoying by way of foul bother. The third-year heart completed with 13 factors, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks and impacted the sport throughout New York’s sturdy fourth quarter.
“I like the truth that he was in a position to play 32 minutes (however) we’ve received to remove the ticky tack fouls,” Thibodeau stated. “He’s a tough man to attain over. Nice rim protector. I believe as he continues to grasp the place and develop, he’s been doing a terrific job in apply. I believe he’ll get higher and higher. Sky’s the restrict for him.”
Earlier than the sport, Thibodeau stated Robinson continues to work on taking pictures from the perimeter in apply. Thibodeau believes Robinson is making progress towards having the ability to implement his taking pictures in a sport.
“What he’s doing proper now’s getting ready to do it – he’s coming early, engaged on it at apply, staying late. He’s come again within the evenings,” the coach stated. “…. I believe his contact across the basket is enhancing proper now. I believe it’s a really feel and there’ll be a development to it. But when he continues to work he has been working, he’ll enhance. And get comfy with it.”
Knox, DSJ make influence
Thibodeau credit score Kevin Knox for sturdy play within the second half. Knox had 16 factors, 4 rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes. He hit three of his 5 3-point makes an attempt. Thibodeau additionally counseled Dennis Smith Jr. for serving to spur the Knicks on protection. Smith Jr. had 5 steals, 4 assists and was credited with two blocked pictures. He was inconsistent on the opposite finish of the ground, however Thibodeau appeared happy with Smith Jr.’s efficiency on protection.
“I assumed Dennis received us going with some good strain,” the coach stated.
Earlier Wednesday, Smith Jr. stated he’d benefitted from working with affiliate head coach Johnnie Bryant.
“He simply received a wealth of information, on each ends,” Smith stated of Bryant. “He simply understands the sport so nicely and he research it a lot. It’s little issues that he’ll present me and I’m identical to, I can’t assist however smile as a result of I’ve by no means considered it like that.
“I’m like a sponge, I take heed to every thing he’s saying and I attempt to put it into the sport and be efficient with what I’m studying. I’m appreciative, man, he’s at all times keen to present out sport so I pay attention as a lot as I can.”
Right here’s Thibodeau on one thing he and the coaches have labored with Barrett on: “One thing we’re actually emphasizing with him – he’s nice at stepping into the paint after which to make the rim learn. If you get to the rim, what number of guys are on you? If there are 2-3 guys on you, make the play. Simply make the proper learn and make the sport straightforward for everybody.”
When requested about it on Wednesday, Thibodeau stated he believes Barrett could be a play-maker on the NBA stage.
“I believe what you’re seeing now’s you’re seeing a whole lot of wings on the ground. It’s often some extent guard, a two, a 3 and a 4 – and all these positions are actually interchangeable,” Thibodeau stated. “And in some circumstances, all 5 guys are interchangeable – the place it’s positionless. And we’re seeing Julius (Randle) make performs off the dribble. And I do assume RJ could make performs.”
Randle had three assists on Wednesday and totaled 11 assists in New York’s first two preseason video games…. Thibodeau stated coaches had been debating about the perfect time to have a look at Reggie Bullock within the beginning lineup. Alec Burks was out Wednesday as a result of private causes, so Bullock began in his place.