After a bad shooting day during the Knicks summer league opener on Sunday, Immanuel Quickley was given a perhaps slightly unusual directive by Tom Thibodeau: Shoot more.
And, wouldn’t you know it, it looks like the two-time coach of the year was right.
After going 5-for-17 the previous day, Quickley, who was all over the court in Monday’s 94-86 win against the Pacers at UNLV, scored 32 points, going 11-for-21 and 4-for-12 from the three-point line. It’s not perfect, but it’s progress and it's something Thibodeau would like to see more of.
"It’s funny — Thibs wants me to shoot some more," Quickley said after the game. "He says I’m not shooting enough, but you know, continue to be aggressive and just continue to keep learning."
For Quickley, who started his second game at point guard, Monday's game was a portent of things to come.
"Individually for me, I kind of wanted to take it personally for me to have a better game, just be a little bit more aggressive and just keep leading," he said. "I made more shots today. I think that helped a little bit."
Quickley, who spent last season mostly at the 2, considers himself a true point guard who can distribute as well as score. And Monday, it was clear he also saw himself as the de facto leader of the young crew, along with Obi Toppin, who scored 22.
His focus is to "continuously just lead, helping the guys," he said. You know, I’ve been around for a year, been in playoff games, so just continuing to spread my knowledge to the young guys, the new guys.
"And me and Obi are doing a great job of that now, but I think that’s the difference — continuing to talk, continue to communicate and just help these guys."
Knicks sign free agent Bacon
The Knicks have agreed to a deal with free-agent guard Dwayne Bacon, according to ESPN. Bacon averaged 10.9 points per game while playing all 72 games last season with the Magic . . . The Knicks Monday announced they signed Jericho Sims to a two-way contract. Sims, 6-10 and 254 pounds, was drafted 58th overall this year. Sims was 6-for-6 in Sunday’s opener, with 12 points and eight rebounds . . .