Scout on Knicks G Immanuel Quickley’s game heading into Year 2

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Immanuel Quickley treated image, holding basketball with greyed out court in background
Immanuel Quickley treated image, holding basketball with greyed out court in background

Obviously, the Knicks loved what they saw from Immanuel Quickley on the court last season.

Why wouldn’t they?

Quickley outplayed nearly everyone’s expectations as a rookie; he averaged 11.4 points and hit 39 percent of his threes last year.

But Quickley may have impressed the Knicks more by his approach between games.

“The best thing about Quick is that he’s a student of the game, he’s a sponge,” Tom Thibodeau said a few days ago. “... He’s great at watching film, then coming in the next day and working on (a new move). Then after a short period of time, because of the type of commitment that he’s willing to make … he masters it.

“So, that’s what I love about him. His shot-making is special. His floater is special. I think he’s gotten a lot stronger, and I think he understands the league a lot better now. But I think his approach, he’s very open-minded. He wants to learn. He’s got great concentration.

“So, those are all the attributes that you look for in a player, because you know those types of players get better.”

Just how much better can Quickley be in Year 2? To get an answer to that question, we talked to a scout who watched the Knicks fairly regularly last season.

Here’s what the scout said: “He was great last season. For most of the year, I thought he looked like the lottery pick and (Obi Toppin) looked like the late first-rounder. That floater caught everyone by surprise initially. And I don’t think we had him shooting (from beyond the arc) as well as he did.

“So how can he get better? He’s got to be able to use (his body) to disrupt things (as a defender). That’s probably just a strength thing. But (with Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock off the roster), (the Knicks’) guards are going to be challenged. So it will be interesting to see how he looks (on defense).

“Offensively, can he hurt you in between (the rim and the 3-point line). His floater was great, but teams know he has it. So can he be a threat (inside the arc) to keep you guessing? That’s a big thing for me.”

Regarding the scout’s first point, Quickley said part of his offseason was dedicated to adding strength to his frame with an eye on defense.

“I feel like I’ll take a step (forward) this year (as a defender) and that’s going to be big on this team; just to be able to stay on the floor, stay in front of key guys and things like that.”

Regarding the scout’s second point, Quickley mentioned over the summer that he worked on his mid-range game, among other things.

“My passing ability, I feel like got better. And then just working on my strengths – shooting; I still have my floater, and being able to shoot left side to right is something I added to my game as well.”

The results of that work will be on display over the next few months. If Quickley takes a big leap forward, it certainly bodes well for the Knicks – and for his future in New York.