Knicks Guard Predicted to Win Major NBA Honor This Season

Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks

Getty Immanuel Quickley and Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks look on against the Chicago Bulls.

The New York Knicks have proven to be one of the most well-rounded teams in the entire association in 2022-23, and the area within their rotation that has been most consistent when it comes to churning out high-end production throughout this year’s campaign seems to be the point guard position.

Though the vast majority of attention when it comes to the club’s backcourt has been focused on free agency acquisition Jalen Brunson and the level he’s been able to produce at in his first season in the Big Apple, perhaps lost in his 6-foot-2 shadow has been the play of third-year guard Immanuel Quickley.

Posting career highs in virtually every statistical category, the Kentucky product has served as an invaluable member of head coach Tom Thibodeau’s nine-man rotation, and, in a February 20 piece by SNY, writer David Vertsberger went as far as to predict that his play and impact this season could end up leading him to the 2023 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award.

“In his past 30 games, Quickley has averaged 15.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists on 47.8% shooting from the field and 39.1% from 3, turning around a slow start to the season. He’s been pivotal to the Knicks’ winning ways, especially on the defensive end as an elite-level pest. His performance is giving him a real case for the Sixth Man of the Year award,” Vertsberger wrote.

On the season as a whole, Quickley finds himself posting per-game averages of 12.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists on 35.2% shooting from deep while also ranking third on the team in box plus-minus rating out of those who have logged 1200 minutes or more.

Should the guard take home the illustrious hardware come year’s end it would be just the fourth time that a member of the Knicks was bestowed such a moniker, with the last recipient being JR Smith back during the 2012-13 season.

The other two were Anthony Mason back in 1994-95 and John Starks back in 1996-97, both of whom were and remain beloved figures from New York’s storied history as a franchise.

Knicks Predicted to Jump Up Standings

Vertsberger isn’t the only one making bold predictions for this season that involve the New York Knicks, as Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz stated in a February 20 piece that he believes the team will end up registering “one of the best records in the league” throughout these remaining few weeks, and predicts that they’ll move up beyond the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference standings.

“Since Dec. 4, New York is fifth overall in offense (117.9 rating) and sixth in net rating (plus-4.7), with a defense that should only get better when starting center Mitchell Robinson returns from thumb surgery,” Swartz wrote. “With Julius Randle making the All-Star Game and Brunson playing like one himself, New York is now one of the deepest teams in the NBA by swapping Reddish (who was out of the rotation) for Hart. While the Knicks may not catch the Cleveland Cavaliers for the fourth seed (currently 4.5 games behind), New York should overtake the Brooklyn Nets to settle at No. 5 overall.”

Swartz would go on to note that though there are several reasons to believe the Knicks will contend for a top-5 seed in the east come year’s end, the addition of Josh Hart prior to this year’s trade deadline could wind up proving to be the biggest factor in their ascension up the conference totem pole.

Since the veteran’s first appearance on the hardwood in New York, the club has gone 3-0 while he has posted sensational per-game averages of 17.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.7 steals while knocking down a whopping 64.3% of his long-range attempts.

Knicks Big Responds to Dunk Contest Criticisms

At this year’s All-Star weekend, Knicks center Jericho Sims represented New York in the 2023 NBA Slam Dunk Contest and, needless to say, his performance proved to be unsatisfactory, as he cultivated a cumulative score of 95.4 and was ultimately eliminated in the preliminaries.

Despite receiving ample criticism for his efforts, with Warriors star Draymond Green even going as far as to refer to one of his dunk attempts as being “weak,” Sims posted on his personal Instagram account on February 20 a picture of himself repping tinted sunglasses with a nice beach background captioned with an upbeat message directed at fans and spectators alike.

“No need to feel embarrassed for me. I’m not,” Sims wrote.

The eventual winner wound up being Philadelphia 76ers guard Mac McClung, who wowed the judges and crowd all night, particularly with his contest-clinching 540-slam.

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