On Sunday, the Knicks couldn’t hit threes, Immanuel Quickley struggled mightily, and the team lost. On Monday, the Knicks could hit threes, IQ dominated, and the team won. Sometimes it’s just that simple, baby!
But it wasn’t easy. New York was sloppy with the ball in the first half, and the Pacers took advantage, building a slight lead throughout the first two quarters. But IQ, when he’s on, is a game-changer. It was true last season in the NBA, and it remains true today against random youngsters and scrubs. Quickley led the charge with 32 points, and steered the Knicks to the win in the second half.
The “Is IQ a REAL PG?” debate lives to see another day, as Quickley led the Knicks offense to an efficient performance with 8 assists and just 1 turnover. He didn’t make all the correct reads, but he did enough to keep the offense humming.
Here’s the real question: was his playmaking really that much better than in Sunday’s loss to Toronto. He also put up an 8-assist/1-turnover stat line in that game. He also made several passes to open shooters, but on that day, everybody was missing. Food for thought. For me, the biggest difference in the offense was that that Quickley (and the Knicks) were hitting shots.
Monday’s headline quote comes from IQ’s postgame interview with Rebecca Haarlow. It warms the heart.
- Don’t look now, but Obi Toppin is making it rain from beyond the arc. After shooting a ghastly 2-10 from three Sunday, the big man hit 3 of 6 attempts in Monday’s win. He was actually more efficient outside than inside (5-14 on 2P attempts). Toppin was truly wildin’ in the first half, committing 5 of the Knicks’ 10 turnovers. He was more steady in the second half, as IQ took over the bulk of the scoring. Still, you’ll take 22 points and 9 rebounds any day of the week.
- We haven’t really seen what Miles McBride can do as a playmaker yet since IQ is taking the majority of time as the primary initiator. It’s perhaps even more impressive, then, that Deuce is really making his presence felt off the ball on offense, while guarding the other team’s primary ballhandler.
The Deuce was loose on Monday, scoring 14 points on 5-7 shooting (2-3 from three). He punctuated the win with a splendid cut and dunk off a feed from Quentin Grimes. The kid can really play.
- As for Grimes, he has yet to make a two-point basket, by my count. He was 2-10 (2-6 from three on Monday, though he displayed a fine all-around game with 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and some solid defense.
- Jericho Sims still hasn’t missed from the field, though he missed two free throws Monday. Sims scored 8 points and grabbed 9 boards, though I noticed he often forgets to box out, leading to offensive rebounds for the opponent. Taj Gibson will drill that out of him.
The 1-1 SummerKnicks are off Tuesday, so everyone can rest up—or debate whether or not IQ is a true PG—either way is cool by me.