With their guard core even further depleted, the Knicks certainly could use a sudden reversal of Immanuel Quickley’s lengthy shooting slump.
The second-year guard is averaging 6.6 points while shooting 30.7 percent from the field and 26.6 percent from 3-point distance over his past 19 games, with just five double-digit scoring performances over that six-week span ahead of the game Sunday against the 76ers.
“The ball’s not going in, mainly,” Quickley said after practice Saturday. “I try not to let that affect my defense. Talking in the huddles. Being a great teammate.
“Teammates tell me all the time, sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t, but you just gotta keep the main thing the main thing, which is playing defense every night, playing hard every night and just bringing other things to the table. You can do other things good when you don’t shoot well. You can still bring other things to win.”
The Knicks, losers of eight of their last nine games bridging the All-Star break, will still need a greater offensive contribution from Quickley. He likely will handle the ball more on the second unit now that Kemba Walker has been shut down for the season, Derrick Rose is still sidelined following a second ankle procedure and rookie Quentin Grimes suffered a knee injury in Friday’s loss to the Heat.
“I feel like that’s where I’m most valuable is being able to do multiple things. I feel like that’s where a lot of guys in the league are valuable,” Quickley said. “Whether it’s being able to play on or off the ball, being able to guard 1-through-4 and switch 1-through-4 and make shots, that’s a valuable trait to be able to be in the league and be versatile.
“Being able to fit in any system, being able to fit any teammate, I feel like that’s what I pride myself on.”
The Knicks announced Grimes (subluxation of right patella) will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Coach Tom Thibodeau on the Sixers adding James Harden at the trade deadline: “I think you put a superstar on the floor with those guys. … He’s a power guard who can play the point, play 2, 3, 4, whatever you want him to do. I think he and [Joel] Embiid in the two-man game, James has always had the ability to break you down off the dribble, shoot the 3, get to the free-throw line. He’s got great vision. He’s got good size. Obviously, the things he’s done throughout his career tell you how good he is.”