The International Basketball Federation is where New York Knicks’ Frank Ntilikina is currently improving his game before the season starts. It’s an opportunity to fine tune the craft before the rugged 82 game NBA season. If a player plays his cards right during the offseason, which includes playing in a professional atmosphere similar to the NBA, improvements most likely will be noticeable once training camp comes around. Former Knick Kristaps Porzingis definitely benefited from FIBA. The sharp shooting power forward and center used FIBA to improve his leadership skills and it showed on the court the following season before it got cut short with that terrible ACL season ending injury. Will Frank Ntilikina come into training camp healthy and with a renewed confidence and swagger? Will Ntilikina’s jump shot improve so much that you can’t leave him open behind the arc?
It’s very possible we might see something we’ve never seen before which is the real unfiltered Frank Ntilikina. This is basically a Ntilikina without injuries, however, improved, more confident, and decisive on the offensive end. This would be an awesome example of hard work and game film studying paying off and exuding itself through the player’s style of play and aura on the basketball court. Ntilikina’s jump shot is definitely the key for the young man. His jumper needs to start falling so he can be part of the rotation. If Ntilikina’s shot begins to fall and he’s suddenly part of the rotation, the New York Knicks defense would level up instantly. Defense has always been Ntilikina’s strong point especially when healthy. The 6’6″ tall 7’0″ wingspan combo guard makes it extremely difficult for opposing point guards and even shooting guards due to his active hands in passing lanes and his impressively high basketball defensive IQ.
It’s clear Frank Ntilikina is a glue type player still finding his niche on this Knicks roster. This current roster needs glue guys and role players like Ntilikina, Taj Gibson, Elfrid Payton, Wayne Ellington, and Reggie Bullock. These kinds of players take the pressure off the star player in Julius Randle and provide necessary depth to compete at a high level.
David Fizdale has his work cut out in training camp and even in the preseason when it comes to figuring out how to use Frank Ntilikina. He might have to watch and gain ideas from the French FIBA basketball coach Vincent Collet. However, Frank Ntilikina can make it easy on Fizdale’s decision by hitting his shots, finishing strong at the rim, getting to the free-throw line, playing in attack mode, and being less tentative on offense.