Frank Ntilikina gets the nod to start vs. Celtics
After logging 29 minutes on Wednesday in a 95-83 defeat against the Orlando Magic, Frank Ntilikina is reportedly going to be given the spot start on Friday, as the Knicks take on the Boston Celtics. This is via team insider Ian Begley.
Frank Ntilikina’s starting tonight.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 1, 2019
The Knicks have had a lackluster start to the new campaign, notching just one win in their first five games. This one-off victory came in the form of a 105-98 win against the Chicago Bulls on Monday, in which Ntilikina turned in a horrendous performance with zero points on 0-of-6 shooting and three turnovers in 22 minutes off the bench.
The 6-foot-4 point guard, however, did much better on Wednesday against the Magic, accounting for seven points, four rebounds, and four assists in 29 minutes of action. With Knicks head coach David Fizdale looking to shake things up for his side against the Celtics, Ntilikina’s number has been called to potentially provide some efficient playmaking for the first unit.
Both Elfrid Payton (hamstring) and Dennis Smith Jr. (personal) will be unavailable on Friday, which gives Ntilikina a clear path to the starting point guard spot. There were some initial reports stating that rookie RJ Barrett was supposed to start at the one spot, but it now appears that coach Fizdale has had a change of heart.
With all the injuries in New York, Ntilikina will be given all the run he can handle, and this should be a great opportunity for him to try and establish a more significant role in the team’s rotation moving forward.