Knicks

Quickley Quietly Budding Despite Low Minutes

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As the regular season comes to a close, time is running out for regular-season award cases.

Immanuel Quickley has been the biggest rookie surprise this season after being selected 25th this past November. A lack of playing time and a few offensive slumps have hindered his ability to find a groove, but perhaps with older players needing to rest as the Knicks make a playoff push, IQ could find more minutes in the final stretch.

Thibs Effect

Tom Thibodeau has completely turned this Knicks team around, but he has a tendency to play his veterans over his younger guys. Quickley is 5th among rookies in scoring, but he’s 21st in average minutes played. If he played as many minutes as other rookies like Tyrese Haliburton or Anthony Edwards, he could be leading rookies in scoring.

For example, Edwards is averaging 18.3 points over 31.5 minutes per game. Per 36 minutes, IQ averages 21.4 points per game, further proving he has the potential to be the best scorer right now in this rookie class. It’s understandable why Thibodeau plays guys like Alec Burks and Reggie Bullock over Quickley because of experience, but one can’t help but think Immanuel may be able to match their offensive production or more at some point soon.

Float On

Quickley’s beautiful floater is easily his go-to weapon on offense. No other rookie in the NBA has a more recognizable shot. He’s attempting 31% of his shots from the short mid-range (shots outside of 4 feet, but within 14 feet), which falls in the 88th percentile. IQ’s floater is destined to become one of the signature player shots within the league, similar to James Harden step backs and Steph Curry pull-up 3’s.

One Twitter user even went as far as to redesign the NBA logo replacing Jerry West with Quickley. With how often he goes to his floater one would assume teams plan against it, but Quickley seems to find a way to get to his spot almost every game.

And-one!

IQ has shown an exceptional ability to draw fouls, but he isn’t in the top tier of players when it comes to foul-drawing. Quickley ranks higher in the league as far as non-shooting fouls drawn vs. fouls drawn while shooting. While he has shown he can make defender’s foul, he isn’t the and-one king Jamal Crawford was.

He does, however, rank in the 74th percentile for AND1%, so the potential is there. It’s just another part of his game that has rapidly improved this year. Soon enough, he’ll be amongst the best at drawing fouls. Per The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov, Quickley watches Harden film, and it shows with his ability to draw fouls like Harden does.

Final Stretch

Some thought that Immanuel had hit his rookie wall, but he’s looking to prove them wrong. The Knicks have the 6th-toughest remaining schedule, so it’s going to be tough to make a strong case for ROTY (especially with Elfrid Payton playing his best basketball of the season and Derrick Rose looking to get ready for the postseason).

As Thibodeau pointed out earlier in the 2nd half of the season, teams are starting to scout Quickley and plan against him defensively. That’s not to say that if he can get the playing time he couldn’t win the award. According to this list of sportsbooks based in the states that we looked over, however, his odds to win it are very, very slim.

The Knicks are poised for a playoff run and no rookie is more playoff-ready than IQ– it’s up to Quickley to be the x-factor for this team and solidify himself as the top rookie this season.

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