Just two weeks after the Knicks shocked the Boston Celtics on Thanksgiving Eve, the Knicks came out flat in the Boston Garden against the superior Celtics. Boston blew out the Knicks by 28 with a balanced effort with 7 players in double figures. Kyrie Irving led the way with 22 points on 9-15 shooting. Jaylen Brown had a nice 21 points in 25 minutes off the bench.
The Knicks on the other hand had no one who had a relatively good game. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a highly inefficient 22 points to lead a seemingly uninterested Knicks team. Enes Kanter collected another double-double going 14 and 11.
The stats are not the story here. The lack of ball movement during the game was atrocious. Every time THJ or undrafted rookie, Allonzo Trier, touched the ball, they seemingly sets their sights at taking a contested shot. With no true point guard on the roster, they do not create good opportunities for each other.
Coach Fizdale talks a great game to the media. He preaches development, he talks about the importance of building a winning culture, he’s told everyone that we are gonna run. But what have we really seen so far? New York is 8-18 this season. While All-Star big man, Kristaps Porzingis is out recovering from a torn ACL, the record isn’t justifiable while not showing any real development.
How have the players been developing?
Emmanuel Mudiay has had a solid few weeks, but lets not act like he is the next coming of Kyle Lowry. His 3 ball is still below average, he is not a great creator and is a weak defender, yet he gets 30 point guard minutes a game. Not to mention the fact that he will likely be gone next year.
Mario Hezonja should be cut. He has the lowest basketball IQ on the team. He is a selfish player who provides very little on a nightly basis while taking valuable minutes away from others.
Kevin Knox is Bambi. He is so visibly young out there but he has recently shown what he is capable of. His dribbling needs a TON of work and he will need to learn to use his left hand a bit more but he has been getting better and the future is bright for him.
We all like to think that Mitch Robinson was the next coming of Anthony Davis and we all need to temper our expectations. Like Knox, Robinson looks young out there. He picks up too many fouls to stay in the game and does not seem to understand how the game works yet. Yes, these things take time and Knick fans need to be patient, but don’t expect him to be the next great big man. I think he should shadow Deandre Jordan during the offseason and learn a few tricks from him
What is going on with Frank?
Ahh yes, the Frank Ntilikina conundrum. There are a few ways of looking at the 3 straight DNP:
- Coach Fiz is trying to do with Frank the same way he did with Dot.
- Frank is going to get traded and they are protecting health or somehow maximizing his value.
- Watching the team will help him learn a bit more and he will come back stronger.
It somewhat worked with Dotson, maybe it will work with Frank?
While that is a valid point, Dotson and the French Prince are in totally different situations. Dotson is a 24 year-old second rounder, who primarily plays a position on the team that has other players in which who have proven to be of value, potentially long term. Igniting a fire under him could maybe give him the juice he needed to earn his minutes and he’s been doing a solid job.
Frank is different. He is 20. He didn’t play in the U.S. until last year. His value as a passer and defender are something that the Knicks are in desperate need for and he has serious draft capital invested in him. Has he been good? The easy answer is, no. But in a developmental year, where the backup PG got hurt and the team is mightily struggling on defense and has no one who can properly run an offense, it is mind-boggling that he has not been able to get some POINT GUARD minutes. Playing SF diminishes his value. He is only long because he is a PG, he is average sized at a wing position.
Maybe Fizdale is a Psychologist and has something in mind? No one really knows.
I don’t believe they are trading him. His value is very low and they will not get much in return for him. Some more optimistic fans think that by sitting on the bench, there is valuable growth potential in that as well. I personally do not think so. This isn’t an NFL QB where he can learn a lot in the film room. Basketball players need to play.
Next up are the lowly Brooklyn Nets. Frank usually plays them well, lets see if he gets to play. He just wanna hoop.