Frank Ntilikina
AP Photo/John Raoux

New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale praises Frank Ntilikina’s play after Wednesday’s loss to the Orlando Magic.

The New York Knicks have quickly fallen to a 1-4 record in this still-young 2019-20 NBA season. On Wednesday, they suffered defeat at the hands of the Orlando Magic by a score of 95-83. The team just couldn’t handle center Nikola Vucevic, who racked up a game-high 21 points and 13 rebounds.

The Knicks’ offense stalled in the second half, but one of the bright spots for the Knicks was guard Frank Ntilikina.

The 2017 first-round pick, who hadn’t scored a single point thus far in the new campaign, finished with seven points, four rebounds, and four assists. After the game, head coach David Fizdale touched upon the young guard’s showing.

“Fantastic,” Fizdale said of his play, per Marc Berman of the New York Post. “I thought he played a great floor game. He really defended, got us organized. Helped our pace. He’s playing with a lot of confidence, and I love seeing that.”

Ntilikina shot 37.5% from the field along with 33.3% from beyond the arc. It’s not the best shooting performance, but he came out hot in the first quarter to help the Knicks take an early lead.

The French point guard is playing a major role in the rotation while Elfrid Payton deals with a right hamstring strain and Dennis Smith Jr. is away from the team for personal reasons. At the moment, Ntilikina is the only pure point guard on the roster. Rookie RJ Barrett is also taking on point guard duties while the Knicks are thin at the position.

Their next matchup will take place on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on the road against the 3-1 Boston Celtics.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.