Immanuel Quickley had an absolute blast Sunday night at TD Garden.
This was pretty easy to tell by anyone in attendance for the Knicks-Celtics thriller or folks watching on television. Quickley, who made his 11th start of the season in place of an injured Jalen Brunson, was smiling from ear to ear and regularly celebrating over the course of the best game of his NBA career to date.
The third-year pro played a game-high 55 minutes against Boston and made the most of his time on the floor, leading New York in points (38) while adding eight rebounds and seven assists. Quickley’s efforts were a huge reason why the Knicks erased a 14-point deficit and took down the Celtics in double overtime.
Despite a competitive game between rivals going two periods beyond regulation, Quickley never lost his joy for a second and looked like he was having the time of his life even when the game was at its tensest. As the 23-year-old explained to teammate Julius Randle late in the game, the primetime tilt had everything a player could ask for.
“Sunday (night), in TD Garden, it don’t get better than that,” Quickley told reporters, per ESPN. “I was telling (Julius) that before the second overtime. I was like, ‘It don’t get better than this. We’re on national TV in the Garden.’ Other than Madison (Square Garden), this is probably my favorite place to play.
“I had a lot of fun.”
Sunday marked the Knicks’ final trip to Boston and matchup with the Celtics for the regular season. But given the way both teams have looked for the majority of the campaign, it wouldn’t be surprising to see these longtime foes meet in the playoffs.
And if that postseason collision comes to pass, it’s clear Quickley will be amped up for it.