The New York Knicks should not be staring Trey Burke at point guard any longer. Emmanuel Mudiay should not also not be starting. There is only one Knick point guard that should be walking out on to the floor at the beginning of eac game, and his name is Frank Ntilikina. There is no reason for Ntilikina to be getting CD-DNP’s, like he did a few nights ago against the Wizards.
The New York Knicks have plenty of time to develop Frank Ntilikina:
The French point guard is only 20 years old, and younger then most draft picks from the past two draft classes. Ntilikina won’t even be 21 until July, and is still adjusting to a new country, new team, and new role.
Through the 2017 and ’18 season thus far, Ntilikina has averaged 5.9 points per game, and throughout the two years he has averaged 2.2 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists per game. While those numbers aren’t great, everyone knew it would take Frank a few years for his offense to be NBA worthy. Even as a second year player, Frank’s defense is at an elite level, a level unheard of for most young players. With playing time he will (hopefully) develop his offense, but in order for his offense to develop he needs to be playing the majority of minutes at point.
The two main men preventing Frank Ntilikina from playing at the point is Trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay. Both are former lottery picks, who did not pan out with there first team.
Are the Knicks giving Trey Burke too much playing time?
Burke was a lottery pick out of Michigan, who spent a good deal of last season playing in the G-League for the Westchester Knicks. Burke was phenomenal in Westchester resulting ihn an opportunity with the Knicks. Once he arrived in New York all he did was score buckets.
Burke is averaging 12 points per-game this season, and more likely than not, does not hold a prolonged future with NEw York, especially as a starter. All he is doing is taking up minutes from Ntilikina. Hopefully the Knicks will use Burke as a trade chip, and pick up a (relatively small) asset for him. It amazes me how many Knick fans think he is part of the future of the Knicks, when I can’t see him being more than a future backup.
Emmanuel Mudiay was acquired last year in exchange for Doug McDermott, and since then he has been a controversial player. He came to New York, and didn’t play great, but has changed that around this season. Mudiay has been a pleasant surprise, and has even worked his way into the starting lineup. Just like Trey Burke, Mudiay probably doesn’t have a future in New York more than a backup point guard.
While both of the controversial players mentioned have been positive for the Knicks this season, they are taking precious developmental time away from Frank. The Knicks should try to rid themselves of Burke and Mudiay, to maximize there lottery pick from two drafts ago.
Throughout the past week or so Ntilikina has seen his minutes decrease, almost completely. He has received several CD-DNP’s and others have filled his role. The question is: Why David Fizdale is not playing Ntilikina?
I’m as big of a Fizdale supporter as there is, but I have been questioning the recent move to bench Ntilikina. Maybe, Fizdale is serious about winning and sees that combo as the best chance to win games and oust the Magic for the 8th seed. Fizdale has shifted the lineups around during the first quarter of the season, so maybe this is just part of that turn.