On a lost night for the Knicks, there was one positive. Immanuel Quickley is going in the right direction.
After battling shooting woes to begin the season, the second-year guard is starting to find the range. He scored a season-high 18 points and hit a pair of 3-pointers in Wednesday night’s 112-100 loss to the Bucks.
“My teammates are finding me in great spots,” he said after logging 27 productive minutes. “They had been finding me in great spots, the ball just wasn’t going in the hoop. Nothing changes for me. Try to do the same thing day in and day out, just trusting my work.”
Quickley has scored in double figures in three straight games after being held to single figures in the previous seven. He’s also made 7 of 14 from beyond the arc in these past three games, after starting the season 7-for-31 from 3.
The Knicks got back one of their centers Wednesday night, but another one is now out.
Mitchell Robinson was back after missing Monday’s win over the 76ers due to a hip issue and in the starting lineup against the defending-champion Bucks, while Nerlens Noel was held out due to a knee injury. Coach Tom Thibodeau said Noel is day-to-day and he doesn’t believe his absence will be too long.
“We’ll see how he feels [on Thursday],” Thibodeau said.
Robinson had three points, six rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes.
Several members of the Knicks spent their Tuesday night off at the Garden to watch the Champions Classic, the annual start of the college basketball season featuring Kansas-Michigan State and Duke-Kentucky.
“It’s a great event, just to have those four teams here,” Thibodeau said. “When you have four teams of that caliber, it’s just to see them live for me. I can see some games on TV, but to be there in that environment [is enjoyable].”
Among the players in attendance were RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Kevin Knox II, Noel and Quickley. Barrett, who went to Duke, has bragging rights over the many former Kentucky players on the Knicks.
“It was a great event,” Thibodeau said. “Our players enjoyed it, obviously RJ more so than some others.”
The Bucks were without All-Star guard Khris Middleton (COVID-19 health and safety protocols), center Brook Lopez (back) and guard Donte DiVincenzo (foot).