Tom Thibodeau noted the Knicks are a “different” team when Immanuel Quickley is knocking down shots, and the numbers bear that out.
The reserve guard scored 18 points Monday in a 129-119 win at Oklahoma City after he missed 10 of 11 field-goal attempts in the .500 team’s previous two losses at Golden State and Phoenix.
Quickley is shooting 43.2 percent from 3-point range (16-for-37) and 46.3 percent overall in the Knicks’ nine victories this season, and 16.1 percent (6-for-31) from long distance and 30.1 percent from the field in their nine defeats.
“For sure, everybody likes to see the ball go in the basket,” Quickley said after the win over the Thunder.Immanuel Quickley shoots the ball against the Thunder.NBAE via Getty Images
“When the ball doesn’t go in the basket is when you gotta continue to defend and things like that. But it’s definitely always great when the ball is going in the basket, for sure.”
There have been exceptions. For instance, on Nov. 13, Quickley scored a season-high 24 points on 8-for-17 shooting in the Knicks 145-135 loss to the Thunder at the Garden.
He nailed six of eight shots, including 4-for-5 on 3-point attempts, Monday, the Knicks’ third win in five games on the trip.
“Quick was great, Quick was terrific. It was great to see the ball go in for him,” Thibodeau said. “It makes us different. I thought he played really well defensively, as well.”
Jalen Brunson averaged 24.0 points during the trip, including 34 to tie his career-high in the regular season on Monday.
“The best part of his game is he can give you whatever you need,” Thibodeau said. “If you need scoring, he gives you that. If you need playmaking, they were doubling at the end, he was creating layups for us. So he can read the game really well and that’s a big plus, that’s what you want out of your point guard.”
Said Brunson: “It’s kind of reading. Obviously, I was feeling good. But it’s reading how the defense is playing. My teammates and coaches have confidence in me. Just got to go out there and read it. That’s just how it is. I thank them for putting their confidence in me.”
The Knicks didn’t practice Tuesday with three days off before they host the Trail Blazers on Friday. Thibodeau called it a “good day for recovery and rehab” for injured players Mitchell Robinson (sore knee), Cam Reddish (groin) and Derrick Rose (toe).