Knicks: Why Coach Fizdale Is The Perfect Fit For Ntilikina

New York Knicks, Frank Ntilikina

Finding a way to extract the offensive prowess from New York Knicks’ 19 year-old point guard, Frank Ntilikina, will be the most difficult task for coach David Fizdale. The young french point guard has struggled with scoring and attacking the rim, especially in his rookie season. That trend continued into the first summer league game for the Knicks.

Ntilikina must work on his offensive production, as he often tried to force passes and backs away from trying to score in favor of dishing the ball to his teammates. He recorded three turnovers. Rookie Kevin Knox stole the show with an impressive dunk to start off the game for the Knicks, but Frank continued to struggle on offense, despite displaying his immense defensive skills.

He reminds me a bit of Iman Shumpert with his athleticism and elite defense, but he never really became a complete player as his offense lacked. For a point guard, that’s unacceptable.

According to the New York Post, coaching Fizdale stated:

“I thought especially late, he attacked the rim, made a couple of good plays to Mitchell. He’s going to be aggressive, but I don’t want to get to a point where he stops being who he is. I know everyone has a vision of what he should be, but there’s things he does well. … I want him to keep those attributes while being aggressive. I liked the way he played [Saturday].’

Ntilikina finished last season averaging just 5.9 points per game and shot 36.4% from the field. In the first summer league game, Frank was assigned to Trae Young, the Oklahoma scoring phenom. In the first half, the french-man put up a good fight, making it extremely difficult for Young. In the second half Young began to take over, as he finished the game with 21 points and three 3-pointers.

Will Frank be the Knicks’ starter at OG?

Ntilikina will have competition for the starting point guard spot with trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay vying for the spot. Burke is the most experienced of the three and finished 2017 as the starter. He averaged 12.8 points, shot 50.3% and 36.2% from the 3-point line. Ultimately, it will come down to Frank’s scoring abilities and if he can manage to increase his numbers from last season. He must have the confidence to pull up and shoot if he wants to lock up the starting spot for the next few years.