The New York Knicks will have some continuity at point guard going forward as David Fizdale watches Frank Ntilikina grow.
“Absolutely,” Fizdale said when asked if Ntilikina would start on Sunday, per Steve Popper of Newsday. “Frank is really playing good basketball for us. Just really proud of the way that he stayed with it and his confidence in growing every day.”
Ntilikina finished Friday night with 10 points, three rebounds, two assists, three steals, and one block. He was a pest defensively and kept the offense organized.
On Sunday, Ntilikina will have the difficult assignment of slowing down De’Aaron Fox. Both members of the 2017 NBA Draft class, Fox is a rising star in the league while Ntilikina is still trying to establish himself as a legitimate starting point guard.
Fizdale also spoke to reporters about the love Ntilikina is receiving from the crowd at Madison Square Garden. When the Knicks play at home, every shot by Ntilikina is a major moment in the Garden. The fans are living and dying with everything the French point guard does.
David Fizdale on the love the MSG crowd has for Frank Ntilikina:
"I think it's great. How can you not like Frank Ntilikina? That's how I look at it…He's a great kid, a class act and he competes" pic.twitter.com/LxY2iLV2w7
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) November 2, 2019
“I think it’s great,” Fizdale said. “How can you not like Frank Ntilikina? That’s how I look at it. His personality, the kid is a great kid. He’s a class act and he competes. Hopefully, we can get back in front of our home crowd and have a good game.”
Ntilikina might not have much offense at this stage in his career, but he’s the team’s most consistent defender and Knicks fans understand that. Hard-nosed defense is something that can endear a player to the fans and it’s clearly working for Ntilikina.
If he can ever figure out how to knock down shots consistently on offense, the Frenchman will become one of the most beloved players in New York.