The New York Knicks have been one of the most interesting stories in the NBA. After being a laughing stock for so long, the team is finally competing on both ends of the floor. Head Coach Tom Thibodeau has continued to insert his DNA in the rest of his team. His defensive schemes have come to good use as the team is ranked first in defensive rankings.
The top starters on the team in RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, and others have been getting the job done. But every team cannot become successful without consistent role players. Through the season, the Knicks have had numerous bench players who have come in and set the tone on the floor. The mentality to compete even tends to flourish around the second unit as well. Let’s take a deep into the key contributing role players for the New York Knicks.
Immanuel Quickley continues to emerge as a developing point guard in the NBA. His ability to be a sniper from three point land is exceptional in the team’s success. But it isn’t just his scoring that is a big key in his play. Quickley has grown into an exceptional playmaker throughout this year. His ability to find open teammates is something we did not see much of at Kentucky.
Quickley is averaging 11.6 points on 38% shooting from the three point line. It seems as if certain teams are not doing their film study on Quickley’s game. Quickley is often able to get off perimeter shots with ease with no pressure put on him.
As the season progresses, Quickley will only continue to improve and evolve his game. He has been a magnificent two way player who has displayed more skills to his offensive package each game. Sooner or later, Quickley could potentially take over as the teams starting point guard.
The veteran sensation Austin Rivers is a wonderful presence inside the Knicks’ locker room. The move to New York has allowed him to be a voice to the younger players and show them what it takes to win every night. As New York goes the right direction as far as development, veterans like Rivers are a big part to a young team.
Rivers is averaging 9.8 points on 40% shooting. Like Quickley, Rivers has also done his part in coming in off the bench and providing a spark. When engaged into the offense, Rivers is a lethal scorer and shows that he can carry the offense at times. His 25 point first half against Utah showed his true scoring versatility. With the way he is leading on and off the floor, Rivers has been a team favorite in the Knicks’ locker room.
The New York Knicks continue to impress their many fans across the world. The team may not be in a playoff position as of now, but there is never lost hope for the young team. Even if the team does miss the playoffs by seasons end, this season will show great signs of development.
Both Immanuel Quickley and Austin Rivers have been the spark to come off the bench. Without their scoring ability on offense, the team doesn’t have much success without it. If Quickley continues to emerge as a playmaker, Coach Thibodeau should have no choice but to insert him as a starter. For Rivers, this is a golden opportunity to continue to grow as a veteran voice on the bench.