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Immanuel Quickley draws comparison to ex-Knick Jamal Crawford

Before making his fourth straight start Monday in place of an injured teammate, Immanuel Quickley drew a lofty comparison from Suns coach Monty Williams.

“Quickley’s like Jamal Crawford in so many ways, can just get it going,” Williams said.

Then Quickley went out and put together his latest quality performance to help the Knicks to their second straight win.

While Quickley still has a long way to go to come close to Crawford — the 20-year NBA guard, former Knick and ultimate sixth man — the Knicks will take the version they have gotten of late as the third-year combo guard has stepped into the lineup for Jalen Brunson and then RJ Barrett.

After starting at point guard for three games, Quickley drew into the lineup for Barrett on Monday — when he chipped in 15 points, five rebounds and three assists — as he continued to show off his versatility.

“I think that’s what I like about our perimeter guys, they’re versatile and they can play multiple positions,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Quick can play with the starters, he can play with the bench. He can play the point, he can play the 2.

Immanuel Quickley puts up a shot during the Knicks' win over the Suns.
Immanuel Quickley puts up a shot during the Knicks’ win over the Suns.
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

“I don’t know what he is, he’s just a good basketball player.”

Over his last eight games, which include five starts, Quickley is averaging 19.9 points on 40.9 percent shooting from beyond the arc, 4.9 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 0.9 steals in 33.8 minutes. That stretch included a career-high 51 minutes against the Mavericks, when he dished out a career-high 15 assists, and a career-high 36 points against the Spurs.

Though those career-highs all came in losses, he has continued to have an impact on the last two wins.

“We’ve got guys that can make shots,” Quickley said before the Knicks had Tuesday off ahead of Wednesday’s rematch with the Spurs at the Garden. “Julius [Randle] demands double-teams. Jalen demands double-teams. So when they get in the paint, create for others, we get open shots. [Mitchell Robinson] on the glass. So it was a total team effort. The bench came in and gave us a great spark, so it was everybody.”

Quickley is expected to earn a fifth straight start on Wednesday with Barrett being ruled out for a fourth straight game because of a lacerated finger.

After taking Brunson’s spot in the starting lineup for three games, Quickley played alongside him on Monday to form a tandem that has had success this season. The two guards have been on the floor together for a total of 355 minutes this season, during which the Knicks have a net rating of 9.6 — meaning they are outscoring their opponents by 9.6 points per 100 possessions. That mark registers as the seventh best net rating for any Knicks duo that has played at least 200 minutes together this season.

Immanuel Quickly drives to the basket against the Suns on Monday night.

“Honestly, it felt kind of normal, like we had been doing it for a while,” Quickley said. “He can play with or without the ball, which makes him very easy to play with. Unselfish, high-character guy, as well, so it makes it easy to play with somebody like that.”

Quickley, who has reportedly drawn trade interest from other teams this season, has also been effective with other key Knicks while bouncing between the first and second units. He and Quentin Grimes have a 15.6 net rating in 325 minutes while he and Mitchell Robinson have a 12.7 net rating in 311 minutes.

“Since I’ve been here, Quick’s been great,” Brunson said. “What he did when I was out is no surprise. He can do that while I’m in the lineup as well. He’s special.”

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