New York Knicks point guard, Frank Ntilikina, hit the biggest shots of his life against the USA this morning. France defeated USA 89-79 in the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup.
While we watch and cheer for the USA, Knicks fans also want to see Ntilkina succeed. Ntilikina ended up with 11 points on 5/9 shooting from the floor, 56%. He added 3 assists and a steal.
However, the confidence and aggressiveness Ntilikina displayed down the stretch helped propel France over USA.
Ntilikina did not have a god first half and usually he would not get another chance to redeem, if this was the Knicks. However, the overwhelming support and positive remarks from his coach and teammates had faith in him.
Ntilikina had a strong, catch and drive with France down 5 points. This is what Knicks fans want to see out of him. He appears to be playing with all the confidence in the world with France and improving on his aggressiveness.
With France down 3, Ntilikina hit a gigantic 3 for France tying the game at 76. As you can see, the confidence was pouring out of Ntilikina, as he took a few dribbles and sunk the contested shot.
As if those first few were not enough, Ntilikina then even hit an even bigger 3 for his home country. Ntilikina was feeling it since he nailed a contested step back 3 to basically seal the game for France.
This is exactly what fans want to see out of Ntilikina. This is the confidence boost that he needs to turn himself into a valuable piece for the Knicks future. Everyone knows what Frank could be and hopefully this is the start of that.
In the FIBA World Cup, Ntilikina is showing that if he is given support, he can produce for his team. All we can say is, hopefully coach David Fizdale was watching this game and begins to have the confidence in Ntilikina that his home country coach and teammates already have.