Immanuel Quickley is thought of as primarily a scorer, but his pick-and-roll game has quietly become a deadly weapon for the Knicks.

Immanuel Quickley does a lot of the little things for the New York Knicks. 

He can hit a shot late in the shot clock when all else has failed. He can block shots, despite his 6’2” frame. He hustles for loose balls and defends like his life depends on it at times, all with a smile on his face and a skip to his step. 

Simply put, he is the glue guy for this New York team that boasts, and has boasted, an amazing second unit that seems to run better than the starting lineup at times. That is largely thanks to Quickley, who seems to be a shoo-in for many Sixth Player of the Year votes this season just as he was last year. 

One part of his game that’s really elevated everyone around him has been his work in the pick and roll. He is adept at working screens to his advantage, using his small size to make defenders pay when they’ve tried to trap him on a drive as he can just slip a pass through to someone in the dunker spot or elsewhere on the floor for a good look. 

This season, Quickley leads the entire team in points created off of pick and rolls where he is the ball handler, with 58.2 percent of those plays run by him resulting in points. That ranks sixth in the league overall, behind good company in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Alex Caruso, De’Andre Hunter, Herb Jones, and Lu Dort. They make up 33.5 percent of Quickley’s work on the floor, and he’s averaging 1.28 points per play in PnR. 

These plays have benefitted the entire squad, but none more than the Knicks’ big men Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein. Hartenstein is a little bit better on the scoring end than Robinson, but both reap the benefits of Quickley’s work in the pick-and-roll. Hartenstein scores 1.14 points per play when in the pick and roll this season, averaging 60 percent from the field on those possessions. 

Robinson is reaping the benefits of this two-man game with Quickley in the form of offensive rebounds, with his rolls to the hoop made easier by Quickley’s presence on the floor and his ability to find space at the rim becoming a huge part of why his name is being thrown into All-Defensive team conversations. 

One player that Quickley’s ball handling could truly benefit, though, is Randle. Randle is not known to be much of a cutter on the floor, and he tends to operate in the Knicks’ offense as the engine rather than a cog. But, with so many more weapons for New York to choose from including Quickley, Randle has the chance to elevate his scoring game by trusting Quickley’s ability to hit him at the perfect time on cuts to the basket out of these pick-and-roll actions. 

Players like Alperen Sengun and Joel Embiid thrive in these roles, and Randle could do the same given his bully ball game style and strong finishing at the rim. He is only working as the roller 4.3 percent of the time, showing how big his incorporation into these sets could be for opening up the Knicks’ spacing even more, forcing defenders to really commit to him running the floor and trying to stop the 6’8 power forward. 

Randle is also only cutting to the rim on 4.5 percent of plays, really lowering his ceiling in terms of scoring. He loves to shoot in isolation, but with Quickley able to fight through screens and set up even larger and slower players in Hartenstein and Robinson, he should be looking to increase his usage on that front. 

Immanuel Quickley does not have much else to prove to this organization, or to the league, when it comes to what he brings to a second unit and to starters when plugged in with them. Despite not receiving a contract extension with the Knicks, he has put his heart into almost every game he has suited up for with New York this season. While a permanent slotting into the starting rotation doesn’t seem likely to be in Quickley’s future, his impact on the game, especially as a closer who can command the pick and roll, will continue to help this team regain a consistent offensive identity. 

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