Knicks debutant point guard Immanuel Quickley will not start at the season premiere on Wednesday night against the Pacers – but Mitchell Robinson will
Quickley, who became a pre-season revelation and started as a point guard at the end of the preseason, was set to leave the bench while coach Tom Thibodeau fought veteran point guard Elfrid Payton.
Thibodeau said Quickley would still be in his 10-player rotation, indicating that he could finish the game. The former Kentucky stallion added electricity and off-shot, the latter a major weakness for Payton.
“I think it’s a compilation of things,” said Thibodeau when asked why Payton would start. “It’s how things went in practice, the games, the way the groups play each other. And starting was never as important as finishing for me. We will be looking at the different combinations, the guys who are playing well, having a good performance, they are the guys out there.
“We have young people who will continue to improve. We have the right veterans around you who can help teach young people the tricks of the trade. So we are counting on everyone. ”
The only other minor surprise with his other starters was Reggie Bullock receiving a call from Alec Burks as a shooting guard. Burks missed the final two games for personal reasons when his wife gave birth.
Thibodeau says Bullock gives the club a little more 3-point pitches at the start, but the coaching staff fell in love with Burks, his main free agent.
“I like the two guys and they both have qualities that complement each group,” said Thibodeau. “And I’m not sure yet if we are going to reverse again. But both guys are very effective with matches and both are very effective with the bank. Both have a strong defensive presence. I think Alec is very good at dribbling and has the ability to play. I think it is a good addition to this group. But we are still analyzing this. Of course, Reggie gives us the extra kick we need to open the ground and an incredible defense. “
Robinson stood out for having started the last two preseason games against Nerlens Noel, who suffered a knee injury. Robinson came in strong and did not miss the end of the preseason.