New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)


There may not be many highlights for the New York Knicks in Utah, but Frank Ntilikina throwing it down on Rudy Gobert is big time.

Danny Small

The New York Knicks may not have a prayer in Utah, but at least they have Frank Ntilikina posterizing the reigning Defensive Player of the Year—Rudy Gobert.

Ntilikina didn’t wait long after checking into the game before driving to the rim and putting Gobert onto a poster. This is exactly the type of play fans want to see more of from Ntilikina. He’s aggressive and unafraid of the challenge Gobert poses at the rim.

Of course, Gobert will get the last laugh. The Jazz outscored the Knicks 39-17 in the first quarter and they got to that point with a steady diet of lobs to Gobert. The man known as the stifle tower finished the quarter with 16 points and seven rebounds. He dominated the action and the Knicks had no way to stop the rim-running center.

Mitchell Robinson isn’t playing due to a sprained right ankle, but he should be paying close attention to how Gobert plays. Gobert knows where his bread is buttered. He lives in the paint and seeks out lobs and second chance opportunities. His roll gravity keeps teams honest and opens up space on the perimeter for shooters.

This season is a learning experience for everyone on the Knicks and Robinson has the athleticism to become a rim-running big man in the same mold as Rudy Gobert or Clint Capela — or even Jarrett Allen in Brooklyn who is making a name for himself as an elite shot blocker.


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