While Carmelo Anthony's clutch points led the Knicks to a win over the 76ers on Saturday, Kyle O'Quinn gave the Knicks a spark off the bench in his 25 minutes of play.
O'Quinn scored nine points and added five assists, five rebounds and five steals during the one-point victory.
During February, O'Quinn has averaged 7.8 points and 5.1 rebounds in 17.7 minutes per game.
There's no doubt Anthony stole the show during Saturday night's game against the 76ers, with a dominant offensive performance and a late-game dagger that sunk Philadelphia's hopes of going home with a victory. Anthony created the most headlines, but it was none other than O'Quinn whose performance was on the verge of putting him in a conversation only including some of the greatest NBA players of all time.
O'Quinn was just three blocks shy of becoming the 13th NBA player to tally a 5x5 game. Such a performance includes logging five in each of the main statistical categories: points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. Such an accomplishment never seemed to quite be within in closing distance, as swatting away three more shots is no easy task. Still, the fact that O'Quinn's outing puts him even remotely in a conversation that includes players like David Robinson, Julius Irving, George Gervin and Hakeem Olajuwon, is impressive. He was all over the place (in the most positive of ways) during this much needed victory.
The reserve big man has been known to have a steady mid-range jumper and obviously grabs the boards by the bunches. On Saturday night, however, he served as even more of a facilitator by looking for teammates who were cutting to the basket. He was unselfish. What's more, it's no surprise he was racking up the steals and blocks: O'Quinn was throwing his body around, diving for loose balls, etc. There was a very physical brand of basketball going on when he was on the court.
O'Quinn's drive comes from all sorts of grit, physicality and hustle. He gives the Knicks a jolt of energy whenever he takes the hardwood. The type of versatility he displayed against the 76ers is exactly why the Knicks were reportedly seeking a first round pick for his services heading into the trade deadline. O'Quinn can impact the game in a number of ways and no doubt could have helped a contender down the stretch. That would have meant a nice return value asset for New York.
Now that he's sticking around, however, the Knicks should look to hold onto him. He's on an extremely reasonable contract and plays his given role to perfection.