Emmanuel Quickley gave a 12-minute thriller in the opening game of the Knicks season in Indiana, then knocked out a hip.
A week and a half later, with the Knicks back in Indiana, the rookie is finally back.
Quickley achieved an instant impact and finished off with 9 points in 15 minutes as The Knicks defeated the Pacers, 106-102, At Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“A little bit of rust, of course, but overall, very happy,” said coach Tom Tibudo. “Good energy. You can see he’s good at making mistakes, which is very important.”
After admiring in the pre-season and then missing four matches due to injury, which he suffered when he collided with Miles Turner on December 23, Quikley showed a knack for driving to the edge and drawing mistakes in the road, doing so three times in his first nine. A minute in the first half. The 25th pick also generally drained a triple indicator.
“He’s going to get his rhythm very quickly,” said Tibudo. “He’s really talented and he’s smart and he’s a great factor. I love his style, I love his style. He’ll be a really good player in this league for a long time.”
Thibodeau made his first technical error as a coach for the Knicks with leaving 5:33 in the third quarter while arguing over a wrong attack on Julius Randall.
“We’re just trying to win,” said Tibudo. “We are trying to protect each other, this is my job, to make sure we get our fair share of calls.
“Whatever we have to do to win – I don’t like receiving technical mistakes and I definitely don’t want anyone to make technical mistakes in Q4. So it’s hard to make up for it, but I usually have a few techniques.”
Austin Rivers, who is playing his second game of the season after being out of action due to a thigh injury, was led to the ledge for a bucket early in the second quarter before falling and hitting his head in the prop. He stayed in the ensuing possession state, but after holding his neck during a break, he stayed in the match and finished with 15 points.
Thibaudeau said veteran goalkeeper Alec Burks (with a sprained left ankle) missed the third match in a row and is still playing on a daily basis, but is “making good progress”.
Although Quickley’s return helped the Knicks at base, they were still short in position with Frank Ntelikina (twisted right knee) and Dennis Smith Jr. (left quadrant).
Rookie striker Obi Tobin (tensed right calf) and Omri Spielman (sore right knee) continued to sit due to injuries.