The New York Knicks have collapsed into complete disarray, however, the injuries, poor play and blatant salary dumps haven’t hurt everyone on the team. Former Toronto Raptors 2012 second round draft pick Quincy Acy has been a big beneficiary of the troubles in New York and the 24-year-old forward could be a bright spot in an otherwise lost season.
The Knicks are Acy’s third team in three years and this self-described “energy-guy” hadn’t started a game before arriving in New York, but after 40 games, Acy has already started 21 times and his 22.4 minutes per game is almost double the rate in his first two years.
“This is the most minutes that I have ever played,” Acy said. “So I am still trying to figure out how to maintain (my energy) for long periods of time.”
His 6.5 points and 5.3 rebounds is the best of Acy’s brief NBA career and the jump shot that he has been giving glimpses of since he was drafted is improving. This year Acy is taking a three-point shot every other game on average and hitting 44.4 percent of them. His skills are starting to catch up with his effort.
With all the changes in New York, it hasn’t been easy for Acy or anyone else on this team and Acy is still learning what he is supposed to be doing out there on the court in Head Coach Derek Fisher’s system.
“You can see how (Fisher) had a lot of success by the way he approaches his coaching,” Acy said. “Just being a professional about everything that we do.
“Nothing changes for me, I’m not a guy that needs the ball to be effective. I just try to give (the ball) to (Carmelo Anthony) in spots that he likes. I am still learning how he likes to play. I am just trying to get in position to gets rebounds in this offense because I am just out there trying to figure out where I am supposed to be and then I got to go rebound. It’ll come with time.”
The Knicks have taken a turn for the worse in January, as hard as that is to imagine, but events have given Acy an even greater opportunity to show what he can do. In his last 6 games, Acy has averaged 11.7 points and 7.5 rebounds in 27.8 minutes and that is far higher than his per minute averages would suggest is likely. He has also taken 12 three-pointers and hit on 41.7 percent of them. It’s important to look for bright spots when your team is 5-35.
For Acy, this is his shot, a tryout for next season when the Knicks hope to be fielding a more competitive team and need to know who can play in a system built around Anthony. Being in a lot of the early loses the Knicks have piled up helps to provide a better test for the players President Phil Jackson is watching game-to-game.
“We are in every game that we play in pretty much, so I just try to keep my energy level high,” Acy said. “With the exception of the losing, it’s just fun (to have a) new opportunity and I am still playing the game. I am just trying to figure out how to stick, so I never get satisfied.”
The Knicks need players beside Anthony that don’t need the ball and want to go rebound for their $125 million man. Maybe Acy can show enough this season to become one them going forward. On a personal note, it couldn’t happen to a nicer young man.