Frank Ntilikina
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale tells reporters he’s “proud” of Frank Ntilikina after loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

David Fizdale and his New York Knicks began their tough upcoming stretch of games on Wednesday when they traveled to the Wells Fargo Center to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. Including this matchup, the Knicks have 11 consecutive games against playoff teams from last year.

The Knicks couldn’t conjure up a victory in this one, however, as they fell to the Sixers by a score of 109-104. It was a night in which New York actually shot better than their opponents and possessed a 17-point lead at one moment. One of the bright spots was Frank Ntilikina, who racked up 17 points and one block on 75% shooting from the field. After the loss, Fizdale praised the third-year pro for his efforts.

“He’s just getting better, and better, and better, and more confident,” Fizdale said. “We’ve gone through so much noise, he and I together, and I’m just so proud of him, with the way he’s handled everything. He’s not even thinking about it, I think you can see he’s just out there playing and having fun. We all have a lot of confidence in him.”

Ntilikina has now started 10 games for the Knicks this year, averaging 25.9 minutes each night. He’s also averaging 6.1 points, 3.1 assists, and 1.4 steals. The Knicks are giving him more of an opportunity this season than they did in his first pair of campaigns, which has led to more production from the young point guard.

The Knicks’ next matchup will be against the San Antonio Spurs this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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