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There is pressure playing in the NBA. There is also pressure playing at the University of Kentucky.
His time in Lexington has prepared rookie shooting guard Immanuel Quickley to play at the highest level. After scoring 16 points in only 19 minutes off the bench, Quickley made it clear why he doesn’t feel nerves.
“I went to the University of Kentucky,” Quickley said after the New York Knicks beat the Atlanta Hawks 112-108 on Monday. “We played in front of 30,000 every night.”
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 5, 2021
The Knicks are 4-3 on the season through seven games.
Three games into his rookie season, Quickley is averaging 10.0 points, 1.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and is shooting 50-percent from beyond the arc. He’s doing that despite playing only 15.3 minutes per game, too.
New York still isn’t any sort of contender, but getting valuable minutes from the No. 25 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft is at least a step in the right direction. At some point, some of these draft picks have to start hitting.
Quickley played two seasons at Kentucky. In his first, he averaged 5.2 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He upped his production in Year 2, however, averaging 16.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists. He also shot 42.8 percent from three-point range.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.