Luka Doncic
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Frank Ntilikina is the best perimeter defender for the New York Knicks. As a result, he’ll match up with Luka Doncic often on Friday.

New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina will have one of his toughest assignments of the season. The young French point guard will guard Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks often, per Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.

Fizdale also told reporters they would “run a lot of different guys at [Doncic],” but it’s safe to assume he’ll see a steady diet of the long-limbed Frenchman.

While all eyes are on Kristaps Porzingis, seeing how Ntilikina fares against one of the best perimeter players in the league is an interesting subplot to this game.

Ntilikina is coming off of his best offensive performance of the season. He dropped 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting with four assists to boot.


Of course, his defense is his bread and butter, but providing some offense will go a long way towards cementing his role as the starting point guard. Ntilikina gives head coach David Fizdale the opportunity to point to the opponents’ best perimeter player and say “you got him.”

Doncic is a major test for Ntilikina, but Fizdale feels like his point guard is playing with the right frame of mind.

“Free mind. Very clear head,” Fizdale said of Ntilikina, per Vorkunov. “A guy who knows his game now… Obviously we knew that defensively he was always a guy who could get after it but now offensively we’re starting to see who he can become.”

While Ntilikina won’t be covering Porzingis directly too often, there’s still a chance for the pair to go toe-to-toe after switches or in transition.

The friends still keep in touch, but Ntilikina says he and KP haven’t spoken on gameday.

The Mavericks and Knicks will collide on Friday night at American Airlines Arena (8:30 p.m. ET).



NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU