The extent of the Knicks roster was illustrated successful the double-overtime season-opening triumph versus Boston past Wednesday.
The Knicks, who hosted a rematch against Orlando connected Sunday, are stacked astatine each 5 positions. Though combo defender Immanuel Quickley is considered a mainstay connected the 2nd unit, his services weren’t needed overmuch to repel the Celtics.
In a 58-minute contest, Quickley was connected the level for conscionable 8:25 — nary successful the 2nd fractional oregon the 2 overtime sessions.
One of the stronger attributes of Thibodeau’s coaching is rolling with the blistery hand. Quickley was 1-for-4 successful the archetypal half, and missed each 3 of his 3-pointers.
“I didn’t play arsenic bully successful the archetypal half,” Quickley said. “It’s thing you tin truly bash successful the archetypal fractional but enactment ready.”
None of the adjunct coaches debriefed Quickley aft the Boston crippled connected his benching, truthful helium repeated what helium did a batch past play during the pandemic season.
Quickley claims helium drove backmost to Westchester and deed the Tarrytown field to shoot. Last season, Quickley could often beryllium seen taking shots aft the crippled connected the Garden court.
“Right aft that Celtics crippled I went consecutive to the gym,” Quickley said. “I expect to enactment acceptable passim the play whether my sanction is called, whether it’s not called. That’s thing I learned from a batch of players successful this league is ever enactment ready, ever hold for your accidental and erstwhile you get your accidental spell and play hard and person fun. I deliberation that’s 1 of the biggest things I’ve learned successful this league.”
In Orlando connected Friday, Quickley was ready. He drained 4 3-pointers connected 8 attempts, notching 16 points successful 20 minutes. He looked to beryllium having the clip of his beingness during the Knicks’ rout.
“It could beryllium anybody,’’ Quickley said aft citing extent arsenic the team’s biggest strength. “That’s however our squad is and we’ve bought in. When idiosyncratic has occurrence everybody has success.”
The Knicks acceptable the franchise grounds for astir 3-point tract goals with 24 — without 1 subordinate getting much than four. Quickley thinks there’s capable 3-point snipers — and shot movers to make bully looks — to marque them a menace to interruption the grounds they conscionable set.
The Knicks privation Quickley to beryllium much than conscionable a 3-point shooter and anticipation helium tin bash much ballhandling. He was the starting constituent defender successful the summertime league. Most scouts felt his NBA vocation would travel disconnected the ball.
“I tried to get a batch stronger successful the offseason,” Quickley said. “I got done lifting [after the Orlando game]. Just trying to amended each facet of my game. Just watching film, trying to get amended whether I’m disconnected the ball, connected the ball, conscionable trying to marque the close reads and playing aggregate positions. Defense. That’ll ever get you connected the level with manager Thibs, truthful I’m trying to amended connected that arsenic well.’’
Quickley’s minutes could shrink anyhow if Thiibodeau raises caller shooting defender Evan Fournier’s minutes to the 35 range. Plus Alec Burks’ minutes tin rise. The Knicks fundamentally spell with 3 guards connected their 2nd portion successful Derrick Rose astatine constituent defender with Quickley and Burks.
Still, the likelihood of caller constituent defender Kemba Walker missing games should support the erstwhile Kentucky defender relevant.
Quickley averaged 19.4 minutes past play erstwhile Reggie Bullock was the starting shooting guard. Quickley besides whitethorn yet combat for minutes with caller first-round pick, shooting defender Quentin Grimes, who besides was drafted with the No. 25 pick.
Grimes was inserted for the past play of the archetypal fractional successful the play opener for antiaircraft purposes. And past helium played 4:34 successful the Orlando game.
Ironically, arsenic 2020 lottery prime Obi Toppin’s minutes volition rise, Quickley’s could fall.