Knicks’ Frank Ntilikina is totally changing his mindset as he tries to find his NBA footing
New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina is heading into his third year in the league, one that will prove crucial in terms of his standing in the NBA. The French international is trying to change his approach to the game in hopes to muster better results and a hint of optimism after vacillating between becoming a scoring point man or a playmaker.
A big part of that change is becoming more aggressive:
“I’m trying to make the right play, and now I’m seeing that being aggressive for myself sometimes is the right play,” said Ntilikina, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. “I’m just playing and getting a feel for the game.”
The Knicks liked the prospect of a lengthy, defensive-minded point guard at 6-foot-5 with a near-7-foot wingspan, but the results in the first two years have been rather underwhelming, as he has averaged just 5.9 points and 3.1 assists through his career.
To make a vast improvement, Ntilikina has started to look at how he can impact the game in more ways. The 21-year-old is coming off a successful FIBA World Cup stint with the French national team, which saw him flourish with his scoring ability and a new-found confidence in his shot:
“Definitely,” he said. “The way I improved, I think, this summer, it allowed me to be more confident and aggressive on the court. Now, I just don’t think about it. I’m just playing, like tonight and the previous game. I’ll be aggressive. If it doesn’t fall, it doesn’t fall. But if it falls, it’s gonna fall and I’ll just keep working on my game and everything will come along.”
The hope is that Ntilikina is able to keep this sense of self-belief well into the season, allowing him to bounce back from poor performances and gain some consistency as one of the Knicks’ rotation players.