Career night for Raptors guard shows how he was held back on the Knicks

Immanuel Quickley is flourishing as a playmaker in Toronto, proving the end of his tenure with New York was a necessary change for the better.

Dallas Mavericks v Toronto Raptors
Dallas Mavericks v Toronto Raptors / Cole Burston/GettyImages

The Phoenix Suns did not have it easy against the Toronto Raptors. At first, it looked like Toronto was in store for another blowout game similar to their March 5 loss to the Pelicans, as Grayson Allen set a Suns franchise record of seven three-pointers made in the first quarter. Despite Allen's heat check, Toronto rallied the troops and locked in defensively, ultimately bringing the game to a closer margin with offensive help from RJ Barrett, Gary Trent Jr., and Immanuel Quickley. The Raptors fought hard but the Suns managed to scrape by with the 120-113 victory.

Although Toronto did not win the game, it was a standout night for their lead point guard, Immanuel Quickley, as he delivered a career-high performance in assists. In fact, IQ was just one rebound away from his first career triple-double, with a stat line of 21 points, nine rebounds, and eighteen assists. It was a bright spot to observe Quickley performing well in all areas, particularly with franchise star Scottie Barnes sidelined indefinitely due to injury.

Immanuel Quickley needed a fresh start on the Toronto Raptors to unlock his playmaking potential.

Immanuel Quickley has become a stellar playmaker for Toronto, an aspect of his game that was never fully unlocked in his time with the New York Knicks, making the trade look like a blessing in disguise. Before he came over to Toronto, Immanuel Quickley was largely looked at as a sparkplug guard who could light up your offense in times of need, where he didn't focus all that much on his passing. IQ averaged 2.5 assists in NY before the trade and hovered around a maximum of 3.5 assists throughout his career.

Transitioning to a starting role in Toronto, Quickley needed to adjust his game from simply being an offensive juggernaut à la Lou Williams to a true point guard. He was expected to improve the stagnated Raptors offense along with RJ Barrett, but the front office and coaching staff expected huge leaps also.

IQ has taken this change of scenery in stride, as he is averaging a career-high six assists on the season, and counting. In his last five performances alone, he's averaging 11 assists per game and just narrowly missing out on his first triple-double in a few of those games.

Immanuel Quickley loved his time in New York and he certainly had great moments as a Knick, however, he has improved greatly as an all-around player for the Toronto Raptors. Time will only tell how much further IQ can take his game, and alongside a young core of RJ Barrett and Scottie Barnes, the Toronto Raptors have a promising point guard at the helm of it all.

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