Knicks' Immanuel Quickley's per-minute scoring has him atop franchise rookie record books

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By RADIO.COM

When Knicks fans looked back on their 2020 NBA Draft haul, Obi Toppin likely stuck out as the highlight in immediate hindsight. After all, he was the Naismith College Player of the Year for his Dayton Flyers and led them to what could have been a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament before coronavirus struck. Winning that award put him in some pretty promising company for his NBA future, too.

But another rookie is topping Toppin (sorry), and Knicks fans aren't upset about it. The only thing fans are upset about is that fellow rookie Immanuel Quickley hasn't broken into the starting lineup, or even into a substantial, minute-eating role, and we can't blame them as a fan base if they feel frustrated. We want to see more Quickley, too.

Through 14 games, the first-year guard out of Kentucky is averaging 11.0 points on .403/.370/.944 shooting. What's more is that he's getting those double-digit scoring totals in just 17.8 minutes per game. Fellow rookies averaging at least 11 points per game are doing so in much larger roles.

By sorting rookies by their per 36 minutes stats, Quickley stands above the rest. Here's a list of the 22 rookies who have logged at least 150 minutes on the season, sorted by their points per 36.

Query Results Table
CritCrit Tota ShooShooShooShoo
Rk Player Tm MP PTS G FG% 3P% FT% TS%
1Immanuel QuickleyNYK24922.314.403.370.944.551
2James WisemanGSW34319.816.503.333.614.542
3Anthony EdwardsMIN36917.715.347.272.793.434
4Tyrese MaxeyPHI34217.217.462.263.778.503
5Precious AchiuwaMIA24416.715.638.543.633
6LaMelo BallCHO39716.616.401.333.700.494
7Saddiq BeyDET28715.315.356.389.800.530
8Xavier TillmanMEM16615.08.561.200.750.587
9Tyrese HaliburtonSAC39214.714.504.470.818.646
10Cole AnthonyORL43714.617.350.298.889.445
11Desmond BaneMEM28514.113.471.489.778.616
12Patrick WilliamsCHI39713.515.467.471.808.567
13Isaiah JoePHI17213.49.375.3861.000.550
14Payton PritchardBOS29313.314.488.425.900.611
15Facundo CampazzoDEN18612.015.380.400.769.556
16Jae'Sean TateHOU39211.915.520.357.667.592
17Devin VassellSAS29711.016.370.415.933.519
18Deni AvdijaWAS25510.911.452.457.625.588
19Théo MaledonOKC29610.915.365.288.455.446
20Isaiah StewartDET24110.014.500.000.692.526
Rk Player Tm MP PTS G FG% 3P% FT% TS%
21Isaac OkoroCLE3978.311.393.290.615.477
22Aleksej PokusevskiOKC2176.513.225.163.275
23Josh GreenDAL1966.414.424.091.600.468
Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 1/25/2021.

His stats received a huge boost after his awesome 31-point burst on Sunday night, all of which was accomplished in 24 minutes of play.

And speaking of Knicks franchise history, here's a list of all Knicks rookies who qualified for the minutes leaderboard that season, sorted by their points per 36 minutes metric. Want to take a stab at who is sitting at number one?

Query Results Table
ShooShooShooShoo
Rk Player Season Tm Lg PTS FG% 3P% FT% TS%
1Immanuel Quickley2020-21NYKNBA22.3.403.370.944.551
2Bill Cartwright1979-80NYKNBA20.4.547.797.608
3Dave Stallworth1965-66NYKNBA19.1.455.686.509
4Rod Strickland1988-89NYKNBA19.1.467.322.745.539
5Art Heyman1963-64NYKNBA18.6.431.685.485
6Willis Reed1964-65NYKNBA18.5.432.742.477
7Cazzie Russell1966-67NYKNBA18.4.436.785.487
8Kristaps Porziņģis2015-16NYKNBA18.1.421.333.838.518
9Gerald Wilkins1985-86NYKNBA18.0.468.280.557.488
10Ray Williams1977-78NYKNBA17.6.443.705.485
11Darrell Walker1983-84NYKNBA17.5.417.267.791.508
12Guy Sparrow1957-58NYKNBA17.4.379.642.421
13Allonzo Trier2018-19NYKNBA17.1.448.394.803.564
14RJ Barrett2019-20NYKNBA17.0.402.320.614.479
15Lonnie Shelton1976-77NYKNBA16.3.476.707.511
16Jim Barnes1964-65NYKNBA16.1.424.662.469
17Kevin Knox2018-19NYKNBA16.1.370.343.717.475
18Willy Hernangómez2016-17NYKNBA16.0.529.267.728.564
19Tim Hardaway2013-14NYKNBA15.8.428.363.828.554
20Toby Knight1977-78NYKNBA15.6.477.649.499
Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 1/25/2021.

We know, we know. It's still very early in the season, whereas everyone else on this list played throughout the whole campaign and some of them contributed as regular starters. But it begs the question: what is it going to take for Quickley to start and play a regular role of 25-30 minutes per game? And what is his ceiling in that capacity? Will the barrage of floaters increase? Or will his play somehow taper off if he goes for a full 30-minute game and experiences fatigue?

Again, we're not sure. But with an 8-10 record and no crazy expectations regarding this team's playoff hopes, what's the harm in giving it a try? If we can multiply the (let me get my Walt Frazier going) flashing and dashing floods of floaters from Quickley, I think Knicks fans would be all for that.

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