The New York Knicks are officially the hottest team in the NBA, having extended their league-best winning streak to nine games on Sunday. But their latest victory may have been the best W of the bunch.
Facing a Boston Celtics team with 45 wins to its credit and the TD Garden crowd on its side — and doing so without the services of Jalen Brunson — the Knicks survived a knockdown, drag-out, double-overtime prize fight. And they did so thanks in large part to the efforts of Immanuel Quickley, who scored a career-high 38 points and added eight rebounds, seven assists, four steals and two blocks in 55 minutes of action.
Quickley was so good, in fact, that one of the best players ever to play his position (and the game of basketball in general), Earvin “Magic” Johnson, was inspired to single out the baller’s performance on social media.
“Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley put on a show in Boston scoring 38 points and leading his team to a 131-129 win. What an exciting double overtime game!” tweeted Johnson.
However, Magic was far from the only one singing Quickley’s praises in the aftermath of the win.
Knicks Fans Sound Off Amid Immanuel Quickley’s Epic Outburst
The Quickley-centric tweets were dropping in rapid succession even before the game clock read 00:00 on Sunday, and they continue to do so now, almost a day after New York conquered Beantown.
“If Immanuel Quickley has proven one thing to us, it’s that he’s not afraid of any moment. Nor is he afraid to fail. Starting at point guard in a historic arena against the best team in the league? I’ll just casually pull from 25 feet 7 seconds in,” tweeted the folks at The Strickland.
“Can’t help but laugh remembering Alec Burks started 44 games — including every post-All-Star game at point guard — instead of Immanuel Quickley last season lol,” wrote Knicks scribe Tommy Beer.
“Immanuel Quickley is big-time legit!! I loved his celebrations & the smile on his face during the entire game. He was bringing the NYK together in the on-court huddles & very vocal & he was doing this against top-tier wing defenders & a top-tier, well-coached team on the road,” tweeted a particularly impressed fan.
“Shed a tear last night after Immanuel Quickley’s performance. The Mets, Knicks (soon to be Jets) are all good again. The world is a better place when these teams are relevant and good,” declared another member of the New York faithful.
“PAY IMMANUEL QUICKLEY 1 BILLION DOLLARS,” implored yet another supporter.
Knicks Are Becoming Statistical Darling
The Knicks have gotten a number of big performances out of individual players since their win streak began nearly a month ago. Quickley’s outburst, Julius Randle‘s 43 points and game-winning heave in Miami and Brunson’s 39 on 15-of-18 shooting versus Brooklyn are just the most recent standout efforts.
But the team, on the whole, has been doing some incredible things from an analytical standpoint, too.
Since the first win of the streak on February 11, New York boasts the No. 2 offensive rating in the Association at 124.6, the No. 9 defensive rating at 111.4 and the best overall net rating (13.2) in the game.
Over that same stretch, the Knicks also rank third in effective field-goal percentage (59.8), first in rebounding percentage (53.9), first in offensive loose balls recovered (2.9 per game) and fourth in defensive shots contested (49.3 per game).