After starting the season 5-3, the Knicks have fallen into a rut as of late, as Wednesday’s 116-109 loss to the Nets was the team’s fourth straight defeat.
If there was a silver lining for the Knicks on Wednesday, though, it was that the offense collectively scored 109 points, a noticeable uptick from the 89, 89, and 88 points the Knicks had scored in their previous three losses to the Thunder, Nuggets, and Hornets, respectively.
Rookie Immanuel Quickley was a big part of that offensive turnaround, scoring 19 points in 22 minutes, including 3-for-6 shooting from three-point range.
It ultimately wasn’t enough for the Knicks in their seven-point defeat, but it was a step in the right direction for Quickley, who had scored a combined 10 points on 2-of-23 shooting in the previous three loses.
“We need everyone to play well, but it was good to get a spark like that,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said afterwards. “And the one thing we feel very confident about is his shooting ability, and I think the more he plays and the more he gets into a rhythm, the better he’ll be. But he gives us something that we desperately need, and that’s the shooting component.”
“I try to do everything I can just to help the team. We didn’t get it done tonight, but we’re looking forward to the next game,” Quickley said. “We’re just trying to get back on track and continue to do the things that we were doing early to get more wins. It’s all about getting wins, and that’s what we’re trying to do right now.”
Even with that recent rough patch, Quickley is still having an impressive start to his rookie season, averaging 7.4 points, 1.9 assists, and 1.5 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per game off the bench. Even with Thibodeau’s shorter rotations to start the season, the Kentucky product has proved that he belongs on the floor.
“I’ve been doing my research and asking questions around the league before the season started. They said there’s going to be ups and downs,” Quickley said. “We had our up early in the season and now it’s kind of like a down period, but we’ve just got to play through.
“We’ve just got to fight through adversity, that’s what Coach (Thibodeau) was talking about just now. We’ve just got to find a way, whether that be more stops, shooting the ball more as far as when we’re open. It’s a collective thing. I think we all just have to look in the mirror and try to do more.”
And he’s always trying to get better, as evidenced by the fact that he was seen putting up extra shots following the game, despite his strong performance.
“I just try to continue to keep getting better, whether it’s a good game, bad game. Individually, I just try to make sure I’m doing my part,” said Quickley. “I always try to look at myself in the mirror after the game and see what I could have done better.”