Tag:

Frank Ntilikina

Apr 7, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Elfrid Payton (4) shoots the ball during the first quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports (Darren Yamashita)
Apr 7, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Elfrid Payton (4) shoots the ball during the first quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports (Darren Yamashita)

With all the second-tier free-agent signees the Knicks brought in this offseason, the Magic's Aaron Gordon has one that he hopes thrives in particular. 

Elfrid Payton was sort of a under-the-radar signee with the likes of Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, and Bobby Portis joining the team as well. The Knicks already have Dennis Smith Jr. as well as Allonzo Trier, whose looking to follow up his stellar rookie season. And Frank Ntilikina is still looking to show the Knicks he was worthy of their first-round selection two years ago.

So it will be a battle to get solid minutes on the floor, let alone start for another former first-rounder in Payton. But Gordon, who was drafted just six picks ahead of Payton to the same Magic team, knows exactly what the point guard can bring to New York this season.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

LAS VEGAS -- Frank Ntilikina was visiting with the Knicks' Summer League team on Sunday night, unfazed by his involvement in recent trade rumors.

"I'm happy to be a Knick," Ntilikina told reporters at the Thomas and Mack Center before New York's overtime loss to Phoenix. "I still take as much as I can get from every situation that I can. I'm in their jersey. I'm happy to be a Knick. I'm happy to be here. I'll work very hard to make this situation successful."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Apr 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Apr 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Unless they want to renege on agreements with their new free agents, the Knicks can't complete a trade for Russell Westbrook prior to December 15. They only have $4 million in cap space, not close to enough to absorb the $38.5 million he's scheduled to make next season. 

It would be incredibly damaging to the Knicks' relationships with agents if they reneged on free-agent agreements to acquire Westbrook, so you can forget about that option. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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New Orleans Pelicans guard Elfrid Payton gestures while dribbling the ball during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. (Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports)
New Orleans Pelicans guard Elfrid Payton gestures while dribbling the ball during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. (Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

Unless you're an elite player, starting jobs in the NBA aren't handed out in July. So it's way too early to predict who will be starting at point guard for the Knicks next season.

But at the moment, the plan is for new Knick Elfrid Payton to get "every opportunity" to win the starting point guard position next season, per SNY sources familiar with the matter.

The Knicks signed Payton to a two-year, $16 million deal with a team option for the second season.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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New Orleans Pelicans center Julius Randle shoots over Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez during the first quarter at the Smoothie King Center. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)
New Orleans Pelicans center Julius Randle shoots over Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez during the first quarter at the Smoothie King Center. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports)

Over the past weeks, months and years, Knicks fans have grown accustomed to waiting. Waiting for one of their young pieces to blossom, for the NBA Draft Lottery, the NBA Draft and free agency. 

All of that waiting and things have not really changed. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are headed to the rival Brooklyn Nets, and New York's faithful will have to sit patiently through yet another losing season for yet another promise of a return to glory. 

However, the Knicks completed a flurry of signings before the calendar even flipped to July, filling out a roster of legitimate NBA players -- something they haven't often possessed lately.

 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Scott Perry Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Scott Perry Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

After striking out on Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and (presumably) Kawhi Leonard, the Knicks essentially did what they said they were going to do in 'Plan B' of their free agency approach: signed players to team-friendly deals to maintain cap flexibility.

The contracts for Reggie Bullock (two years, $21 million), Bobby Portis (two years, $31 million), Elfrid Payton (two years, $16 million), Taj Gibson (two years, $20 million) and Wayne Ellington (two years, $16 million) all have team options for the second season. The Knicks' deal with Julius Randle (three years, $63 million) has a team option for the third season.

The anger over the club missing on Durant is warranted given the steps the club took to create max cap space. But the Knicks seemed to do well in their pivot to Plan B.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter |

It's logical to think that there are no players on the Knicks roster who are off limits when it comes to potential trades, but 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina is one player who members of the organization are open to listening to offers on, sources confirm.

Ntilikina has been a part of trade rumors for several months. It is unclear what the Knicks would be looking for in return for a Ntilikina deal, but the New York Post, which first reported the Knicks' willingness to move Ntilikina, says the club is looking for a late first or second-round pick. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Jun 5, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) in game three of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)
Jun 5, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) in game three of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports (Kyle Terada)

A few young Knicks and coaches plan to attend the next two NBA Finals games. 

Mitchell Robinson plans to attend Game 5 of Raptors-Warriors with assistant coach Pat Sullivan, per SNY sources. And Kevin Knox, Kadeem Allen, and Allonzo Trier plan to attend Game 4 of the Finals on Friday night, a source confirmed to SNY. 

Last year, David Fizdale brought Emmanuel Mudiay, Damyean Dotson, and Frank Ntilikina to a Celtics-Cavs playoff game. He wanted to show them the atmosphere of playoff basketball. After the season, he said he intended to do the same with the young Knicks from the 2018-19 team. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Cam Reddish (2) and guard Jordan Goldwire (14) walk off the court ofter losing to the Michigan State Spartans in the championship game of the east regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports (Amber Searls)
Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Cam Reddish (2) and guard Jordan Goldwire (14) walk off the court ofter losing to the Michigan State Spartans in the championship game of the east regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports (Amber Searls)

The Knicks are faced with many an option with their No. 3 pick in this upcoming NBA Draft, including trading down to pick up two lottery players instead of one, and the chance at one of two ball-dominant, high-ceiling college stars. An impending free agency period in which New York is expected to sign a major star only complicates matters.

Perhaps most importantly, the Knicks just need to avoid a calamitous mistake. Every asset they compile is crucial towards their rebuild, and patience is wearing thin for this team to finally get it together. Here are some of the high-risk selections the front office should consider passing up on.

Anyone but R.J. Barrett and Ja Morant...

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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

For all the suffering the Knicks faithful has had to endure over the years, one place where New York has generally exceeded expectations is the NBA Draft.

Last year's second round pick, Mitchell Robinson, looks like the Knicks' best prospect. Taking Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth pick in 2015 was clearly the right move, despite how that relationship played out. 

However, the Knicks have also had their share of busts and blunders, moments the franchise can learn from as the calendar flips to June. New York has the third overall pick, its best shot at a future star since Patrick Ewing and arguably one of the most important selections in team history. Here are some lessons they can draw from past miscues to make the right decision this time around.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina at Madison Square Garden. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina at Madison Square Garden. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina has reportedly switched agents amid trade rumors, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy.

Ntilikina, who has been included in rumors involving a potential Anthony Davis trade to a deal for another draft pick, signed with French agent Bouna Ndiaye after parting ways with his previous agents at CAA.

Ndiaye, according to Basket USA's Jonathan Demay, represents several other NBA players, including Nicholas Batum, Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier

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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina passes the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks will reportedly explore the idea of trading former top-10 pick Frank Ntilikina for another draft pick, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.

Ntilikina, the last first-round pick under the Phil Jackson regime, has averaged just 5.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 121 games since the Knicks drafted him eighth overall two years ago.

Over the past couple of weeks, he and several other Knicks players have been included in trade rumors amid the Knicks' potential interest in Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Since the Knicks were given the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, only Patrick Ewing and Isiah Thomas have said something about missing out on the top selection and Zion Williamson

That is until team president Steve Mills spoke up at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago on Friday. 

Though he didn't talk for long, Mills said the team is excited to use their No. 3 pick to further their rebuilding process...

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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Only Pelicans executive VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin - and maybe a select few others close to him - knows exactly what New Orleans wants in a potential Anthony Davis trade.

Griffin reiterated on Tuesday that he's committed to trying to keep Davis in New Orleans. Landing the No. 1 overall pick in June gives him another potential selling point for Davis, but the smart money says he will still want to leave New Orleans. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported as much shortly after the Lottery.

So, assuming New Orleans has to deal Davis this summer, which teams can make the best offers? And how can the Knicks push themselves to the front of that group?

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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Knicks get the 3rd pick 00:01:26
SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley explains what the #3 pick means for the Knicks, and what it means in relation to a potential Anthony Davis trade.

The results of Tuesday's NBA Lottery weren't a disaster for the Knicks, but they certainly weren't ideal. 

New York finished with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, earning the chance to select a top college player or to try to trade the pick for an established star. 

R.J. Barrett, who could be on the board when the Knicks select on June 20, will meet with New York on Wednesday in Chicago ahead of the NBA Draft Combine, per SNY's Adam Zagoria.

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Would Knicks trade #1 pick? 00:01:33
New York Knicks could possibly get the #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. SNY's Ian Begley reports there is 'no consensus' they would trade it.

Anthony Davis would certainly consider re-signing with the Knicks if he felt he could be successful in New York, per SNY sources familiar with the matter. And here's how a Davis to New York trade could work:

Since the goal would likely be to pair Davis with two other stars, the Knicks would first sign their two max free agents in early July, using nearly all of their $70-plus million in cap space.

They would then have to send out roughly $21.6 million in salary to satisfy NBA trade rules in a swap for Davis, who is making $27 million in 2019.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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 (SNY)
(SNY)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Moments after the original NBA Draft Lottery, back when the basketball gods or conspiracy or whatever you want to believe gifted Patrick Ewing to the Knicks, Dave DeBusschere talked about how antsy he got before it all played out. 

"I couldn't listen to the commissioner; I was very nervous," the then-Knicks exec said on the television broadcast. 

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, Anthony McCarron
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Dec 1, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) eyes the basket against New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) and center Mitchell Robinson (26) during overtime at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 1, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) eyes the basket against New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) and center Mitchell Robinson (26) during overtime at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

One of the worst seasons in New York Knicks history is over. A 17-65 record will be tough to swallow, but arguably the franchise's biggest offseason ever is fast approaching. This roster made up of raw talent and NBA vagabonds could look anywhere from completely different to mostly the same this time next year. Here's how each key player fared this season, and whether they should stay or go:

Kevin Knox

Barring an Anthony Davis trade, Knox is likely to remain a Knick, and fans should be cautiously optimistic about his future. Although his numbers as a whole were shoddy, there's a lot that is easily fixable, such as taking off a step too early or knowing when to go to the floater vs. attacking the defender's body. He had some solid stretches scattered across an underwhelming season: 43 percent three-point shooting in March, for example. The goal is for him to be a complete player, but we've yet to see tangible improvements much of anywhere,. That's okay, he's very young, and clearly filled with talent.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Lance Thomas, Mario Hezonja, Mitchell Robinson, Noah Vonleh
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Ntilikina, Fizdale on injury 00:00:56
New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina is out the rest of the season after reaggravating a groin injury. Has he played his last game as a Knick?

The Knicks will shut down Frank Ntilikina for the rest of the season after he re-aggravated his groin injury last Sunday, the team announced.

Ntilikina, the second-year guard out of France, returned from a 24-game absence on Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers, but left the game after suffering a setback. A few more tests showed the Knicks that he should be shut down.

"I re-aggravated progressively again," Ntilikina told the media at practice Friday. "I kinda felt something before the game and this is how it happened. So after the game it was pretty sore too. Made a couple of more tests and the medical staff, which is trying to do the best for me and my health, recommended I take it easy."

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New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale talks to guards Damyean Dotson and Emmanuel Mudiay during the second half against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale talks to guards Damyean Dotson and Emmanuel Mudiay during the second half against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks' blockbuster trade of Kristaps Porzingis cleared the franchise enough salary cap space to pursue two max free agents this summer. Presumably, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are going to be two targets.

But with the roster head coach David Fizdale has now, he is trying to work on his players' versatility, because the Knicks could soon have an abundance of players at one position.

"That I'm trying to do with all of them is make them, to a certain extent, positionless,'' Fizdale said, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman. "Where it doesn't matter who they're out there with. That their skill set applies to whatever position they're playing. That's kind of how we're looking at it going forward."

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox
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Feb 3, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) controls the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 3, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) controls the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Knicks coach David Fizdale would like to be able to choose from a deep roster but injuries are piling up.

Point guard Dennis Smith Jr. has missed the last six games with a sore back, rookie guard Allonzo Trier has missed the last three games with a strained calf and forward Noah Vonleh has missed the last five games with a sprained right ankle.

Smith, Trier, and Vonleh may be out again Thursday and the trio could be joined on the sidelines by rookie forward Kevin Knox.

Knox sprained his right ankle with 32 seconds left in the first half of a 124-113 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. Knox was injured when his foot collided with Los Angeles guard Patrick Beverley's on a 3-point attempt.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Noah Vonleh
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Mar 10, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Mar 10, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

When the Knicks hired David Fizdale to be their new head coach, they knew he would be bringing aggressive basketball on both ends of the floor. Well, that clearly hasn't translated to wins for this rebuilding roster this season, but that doesn't mean his tactics won't be successful.

Fizdale knows he needs certain players around his young guns to make it work.

"Our defense won't really, really get to where it's at until we start to really fill in the gaps with the type of guys we think can take our defense to the next level," Fizdale told the Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "Add maybe another forward defender or another perimeter defender that has a reputation for that. Those kind of guys are the ones that elevate your system to the next level."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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Mar 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) brings the ball up court against the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 22, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) brings the ball up court against the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Frank Ntilikina was returning to the Knicks for the final 10 games of this dismal 2018-19 regular season with a purpose: to prove he should still be in blue and orange next season. But it was short-lived when Ntilikina reaggravated his groin injury that kept him out 24 straight games against the Clippers on Sunday night.

So is that it? Does Ntilikina's season finish on this note? Head coach David Fizdale wouldn't say it officially, as the Frenchman sat out of Tuesday's practice. 

"We don't know yet on the status of how far away he is from coming back," Fizdale told The Post's Marc Berman. "I know it was a tough blow to the kid the other night. I just don't know how sever it is. I just know that it got to a point during the game where it was really bothering him. It's just been frustrating for the kid. It's been frustrating for all of us, but for him it's been tough."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Scott Thompson
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Mar 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell (5) drives to the basket in the first quarter against New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas (42) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Mar 24, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell (5) drives to the basket in the first quarter against New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas (42) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

The Clippers handed the Knicks their fourth consecutive loss, 124-113 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, where Los Angeles continued its push for better seeding in the Western Conference playoff picture. >> Box score

Five things to know about Sunday's game

1. Danilo Gallinari returned to the Garden in style, as the former Knick lit it up for 26 points -- 13 of which came from the free throw line. He also added nine rebounds. 

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Los Angeles Clippers
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Feb 3, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) dunks over Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) and guard Shelvin Mack (6) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 3, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox (20) dunks over Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) and guard Shelvin Mack (6) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Already without Dennis Smith Jr., Allonzo Trier, and Noah Vonleh, the Knicks lost two more players to injury during Sunday's game at Madison Square Garden.

Rookie Kevin Knox left due to a sprained ankle and was ruled out. Frank Ntilikina -- who returned Friday night after missing roughly two months due to a groin injury -- left due to a groin injury. His return was listed as questionable. 

The Knicks, who have nine games left this season, probably wish the season ended Sunday. And they may have to scramble to find enough able-bodies to play as the season winds down. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Danny Abriano
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Oct 29, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) controls the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 29, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) controls the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Frank Ntilikina is finally returning for the Knicks tonight, per ESPN's Ian Begley

Ntilikina was back at practice earlier this week, as he continued to nurse a groin injury. He didn't have any setbacks, but the Knicks didn't want to rush him back against the Jazz on Wednesday. It was more optimistic that he came back this weekend, and Ntilikina is living up to that notion. 

It is good that the Frenchman is back, but it isn't the ideal return the Knicks had hoped for. Head coach David Fizdale had said he is going to use Ntilikina on the wing, and they wanted to see how he could play with new point guard Dennis Smith Jr. However, Smith threw his back out and could miss the rest of the season. 

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Mar 4, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) walks off the court during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports (Sergio Estrada)
Mar 4, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) walks off the court during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports (Sergio Estrada)

The Jazz come to Madison Square Garden to face the Knicks tonight, but New York will be without a few key contributors in this one. 

The most notable is PG Dennis Smith Jr., who head coach David Fizdale said threw out his back. The team is expecting to re-evaluate him next week as he will likely miss at least three more games. The Knicks could deem Smith done for the season if the evaluation says so. 

And that isn't the only guard the Knicks will be without. Allonzo Trier has a calf injury that will keep him out, while Frank Ntilikina isn't quite ready to return from his groin injury. Ntilikina practice with G-League Westchester on Tuesday, but he is expected to practice once again and be ready to make his awaited return this weekend. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Noah Vonleh, Utah Jazz
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Dec 19, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler (23) during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports  (Bill Streicher)
Dec 19, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler (23) during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Knicks PG Frank Ntilikina has finally been cleared to practice, and it couldn't have came at a better time. 

According to the Daily News' Stefan Bondy, the 20-year-old former first rounder will be practicing with G-League Westchester on Tuesday as the Knicks are traveling back from Toronto following a 128-92 blowout on Monday night. Ntilikina has been sidelined for weeks with a groin injury, but if everything goes well at practice, he could be suiting up against the Jazz at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night. 

That would be the best case scenario for Ntilikina, who needs these last 11 games of the season to prove he is still worth it to the Knicks. It doesn't look good for Ntilikina to stay in orange and blue next season, especially with new point guard Dennis Smith Jr. coming over from Dallas in the Kristaps Porzingis trade. The Knicks also have Allonzo Trier, Emmanuel Mudiay and Damyean Doston all under contract for 2019. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina drives to the basket against Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks second-year guard Frank Ntilikina is improving from a groin injury that has kept him out since January and will be re-evaluated once New York returns from its three-game road trip, the team announced.

Ntilikina, who last played Jan. 27, has missed the Knicks' last 18 games entering Sunday's matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Knicks expect Ntilikina, 20, to improve his on-court activity and controlled contact this week.

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Oct 29, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) controls the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 29, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) controls the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Since Dennis Smith Jr. has joined the Knicks, Frank Ntilikina has become even more of an afterthought. Head coach David Fizdale has tasked Smith with being a vocal leader for the squad despite this only being his sophomore season, and Emmanuel Mudiay has been relieving him off the bench. 

Ntilikina has been trying to work back from a groin injury, but he still isn't expected to make an impact at point guard once he returns. Fizdale wants to use him more as a wing player, and has even flirted with the idea of him playing power forward as well. And when Jason Kidd was brought in down in Phoenix by Fizdale, only Smith and Mudiay were close to his teachings with Ntilikina looking on, fortifying the notion that he won't be the floor general anytime soon.

But, with 17 games left on the Knicks' schedule, Ntilikina's health is reeling at the wrong time. And that isn't good if their reported plan involving the former first-rounder is true. 

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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New York Knicks center DeAndre Jordan reacts during the third quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks center DeAndre Jordan reacts during the third quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks center DeAndre Jordan will miss an undetermined amount of time with a sprained left ankle, head coach David Fizdale said on Sunday.

Jordan, who suffered the injury at Saturday's practice, will not play in Sunday's matchup against the San Antonio Spurs.

The Knicks hope Jordan, who has been the starting center since New York acquired him in the blockbuster Kristaps Porzingis trade, won't miss too much time. Fizdale said the injury initially looked worse than it was after he was evaluated.

Tags: DeAndre Jordan, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson
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Jan 21, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Iman Shumpert (9) reacts in the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)
Jan 21, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Iman Shumpert (9) reacts in the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports (Nicole Sweet)

Knicks fans should know better than to put the cart in front of the horse, but with their team's summer plans revolving around Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, it's worth looking at how they plan to surround the two with players that can aid them in a championship hunt.

The two alone won't make New York a leading contender in today's arms race among the league's best. Philadelphia and Golden State are four All-Stars deep, while the Knicks will likely have just five players on their roster come July 1.

Here's who they should try to retain and pursue once that time comes given Durant and Irving decide to sign on.

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina
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Although Knicks fans may have had their trade fill following the Kristaps Porzingis blockbuster, there's still some time to go until the trade deadline with several possible directions for New York.

Here are a few of the directions they can go in by Thursday afternoon.

Anthony Davis

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Enes Kanter, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis
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Kyrie saw chanting a distraction 00:01:37
Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving's first game at MSG since the Kristaps Porzingis trade led to Knicks fans chanting his name.

In their first game since the big Kristaps Porzingis trade, the Knicks fell to the Kyrie Irving-led Celtics 113-99 at The Garden on Friday night. >> Box score

Things to know about Friday's game

1) With Porzingis gone, Irving may be one of the potential free agents that fills his spot this offseason, and Knicks fans welcomed him with loud cheers when he was called during starting lineups. And Irving continued to hear cheers as he dropped a game-high 23 points on 9-for-20 from the field with 10 rebounds and six assists as well for a double-double...

Tags: Boston Celtics, Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Jan 12, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Jan 12, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

The biggest return in the Knicks' trade of Kristaps Porzingis and other veterans with the Mavericks on Thursday was the nice chunk of cap space they freed up. It showed that the Knicks are throwing all their cards into an intriguing free agent class that could involve All-Stars like Kevin DurantKyrie Irving, and Klay Thompson to name a few.

Knicks fans are already looking ahead to a Durant-Irving duo at Madison Square Garden, as the team has the ability now to sign two max players. But does this strategy mean New York is out on the Anthony Davis sweepstakes?

Not necessarily...

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Scott Thompson
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Jan 27, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (1) warms up before the game against the Toronto Raptors at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)
Jan 27, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (1) warms up before the game against the Toronto Raptors at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports (Jerome Miron)

The Knicks' return in the Kristaps Porzingis trade didn't feel like the best package they could have gotten for the 7-foot-3 All-Star. DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews are expiring contracts that New York may want to trade or waive outright, and the two future first-rounders will come in a couple years. 

So the only true return that will impact the Knicks immediately will be 21-year-old PG Dennis Smith Jr., who the Mavericks have been shopping prior to the Feb. 7 trade deadline.

Many Knicks fans will remember Smith being a top candidate to take two years ago with the eighth overall pick, but Phil Jackson's regime decided to go with Frank Ntilikina instead. Smith was taken with the ninth overall pick by Dallas right after Ntilikina.

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Scott Thompson
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Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic looks to pass around New York Knicks guard Kadeem Allen during the second half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic looks to pass around New York Knicks guard Kadeem Allen during the second half at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks' roster is in a limbo after the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

Upon Thursday's blockbuster trade with the Mavericks that also sent Tim Hardaway Jr. Courtney Lee and Trey Burke to Dallas, the players the Knicks received -- Dennis Smith Jr.DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews -- won't be cleared and in New York in time for Friday's game against the Celtics.

And considering Emmanuel Mudiay is dealing with a shoulder injury and Frank Ntilikina suffered a groin injury, who actually will play for the Knicks?

Tags: Courtney Lee, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke
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The Knicks must have reason to believe Kevin Durant is coming to New York.

That's the only conclusion to draw from Thursday's shocking trade of Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks.

After Porzingis and his brother, Janis, who is also his agent, met with the front office and expressed frustration with the direction of the franchise, the Knicks quickly sent him to Dallas along with some long-term contracts for a package headlined by second-year guard Dennis Smith, Jr. and two future first-round picks...

Tags: Courtney Lee, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Kanter: No problem with Knicks 00:01:25
New York Knicks center Enes Kanter says he has no problem with the Knicks or the coaching staff after their recent loss to the Mavericks.

Rookie phenom Luka Doncic and the Mavs weren't going to let the Knicks' losing streak stop on their watch, as New York fell 114-90 on the Madison Square Garden floor Wednesday night.  >> Box score

Things to know about Wednesday's game

1) The main storyline was Doncic's first taste of the Garden, and it didn't begin the way he wanted it to with an airball from three. But, of course, he made up for it was a big dunk a couple possessions later. Doncic would finished with 16 points on 7-of-18 shooting along with eight boards and five assists in a pedestrian night for the NBA Rookie of the Year hopeful.

Tags: Dallas Mavericks, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke
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Knox talks 'Rising Stars' snub 00:00:32
New York Knicks rookie Kevin Knox discusses not being invited to participate in the 'Rising Stars Challenge' at the 2019 NBA All-Star game.

When the Rising Stars Challenge rosters were announced Tuedsay night, no Knicks were listed -- not even the team's first-round pick Kevin Knox

He may have had a rough start to his rookie campaign, but Knox has picked up the pace lately. He is averaging 12.2 points and 4.2 rebounds, which both sit seventh among rookies so far this season. However, those numbers clearly aren't enough for him to make the U.S. Team. 

Knox, though, hasn't taken any offense to the snub. He may have wanted to showcase his talents in the game, but he is using the omission as motivation moving forward.

Tags: Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox shoots against Brooklyn Nets forward Rodions Kurucs during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox shoots against Brooklyn Nets forward Rodions Kurucs during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Knox was snubbed, the headlines exclaimed. This is just more terrible and laughable news for the Knicks, the copy went on to tell you.

Relax, everyone.

No, Knox was not one of the 10 first- and second-year players chosen for the U.S. team for the Rising Stars game at All-Star weekend next month. And neither were fellow Knicks in those categories, including Allonzo Trier and Mitchell Robinson, and disappointing 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina, who was a member of the World team as a rookie last season.

And none of them should have made it this year.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis
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With Anthony Davis making it clear that he wants out of New Orleans, and the Knicks having the assets to pull off a trade before the deadline, there's a buzz in the city that the star forward could maybe come to New York.

Even though the Pelicans could wait until after the season to make a deal, here are five possible Davis trades involving the Knicks (although he doesn't end up in New York in one of them).

TRADE 1: KNICKS AND PELICANS

  • Knicks get... Anthony Davis
  • Pelicans get... Enes Kanter, Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina, 2019 first-round pick
Tags: Enes Kanter, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Tony Snell during the first half at Madison Square Garden. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks have an abundance of young talent on their roster, but none of them were selected to the NBA's Rising Stars Challenge teams. 

The NBA announced the rosters on Tuesday for U.S. and Worlds team, which each consist of 10 first and second-year players around the league, for an exhibition game to be played on Friday, Feb. 15 in Charlotte as part of the All-Star weekend festivities. 

The rosters are chosen by NBA assistant coaches, who submit one ballot per team and must have a minimum of three first-year players and three second-year players on each team. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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New York Knicks guard forward Tim Hardaway Jr. drives against Charlotte Hornets guard forward Jeremy Lamb during the first half at the Spectrum Center. (Sam Sharpe/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard forward Tim Hardaway Jr. drives against Charlotte Hornets guard forward Jeremy Lamb during the first half at the Spectrum Center. (Sam Sharpe/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks' losing streak reached 10 games after they fell apart in the fourth quarter in a 101-92 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday at Spectrum Center. >> Box score

Things to know about Monday's game

1. The Knicks led by as many as eight points midway through the third quarter and were up 75-73 early in the fourth, but the Hornets used a 17-1 run, capped by a Malik Monk 3-pointer, to take a 90-76 lead with 6:15 remaining.

2. With Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina both sidelined due to injuries, Trey Burke started at point guard and scored nine points on 4-of-11 shooting.

Tags: Charlotte Hornets, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, Willy Hernangomez
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New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina at Madison Square Garden. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina at Madison Square Garden. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina could miss 1-2 weeks after he strained his groin in Sunday's loss to the Miami Heat.

Ntilikina, who started New York's last two games at point guard after Emmanuel Mudiay suffered a shoulder injury, was limited to 14:50 on Sunday, scoring just six points on 3-of-6 shooting.

The 20-year-old Ntilikina did not travel with the team to Charlotte for Monday's game against the Hornets, and the Knicks recalled Kadeem Allen from G-League Westchester. Trey Burke is expected to start at point guard.

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke
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Knicks lose 9th straight game 00:01:14
Knicks coach David Fizdale and Trey Burke comment on the Knicks ninth consecutive loss, 106-97, to the Miami Heat.

The Knicks' losing streak reached nine games with a 106-97 loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. >> Box score

Things to know about Sunday's game

1. The Knicks lost for the 22nd time in their last 24 games, falling to 10-38 after they surrendered back-to-back Wayne Ellington 3-pointers that turned a two-point deficit into an eight-point game with 1:08 left.

2. New York was outscored 29-12 in the third quarter and trailed 81-68 after Miami went on a 20-4 run. But the Knicks used a 13-2 run capped by a Tim Hardaway Jr. 3-pointer to tie the game at 90 with 4:01 remaining in the fourth.

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Miami Heat, Tim Hardaway Jr.
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Oct 26, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Trey Burke (23) controls the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 26, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Trey Burke (23) controls the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Knicks PG Trey Burke -- a pending free agent -- said in early-December that he wanted to re-sign with the Knicks

"I know how the business goes and if that is not an option, you're always auditioning for other teams. But personally, on record, I want to be here in New York City," Burke said. "You just never know, man. You never know in this league. Try not to put all your eggs in one basket because it is a business at the end of the day."

After making that statement, Burke fell out of the Knicks' rotation for most of December, but he has been getting some burn lately with Emmanuel Mudiay hurt -- including playing 33 minutes (and scoring 25 points) against the Celtics on Friday as the team potentially showcases him for interested teams.

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke, Danny Abriano
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Jan 13, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jan 13, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

The Knicks' starting lineup Friday night had some confusion leading up to the game, as Emmanuel Mudiay's shoulder injury left a void at point guard. And head coach David Fizdale wouldn't name his replacement, waiting until starting lineups were announced instead. 

Well, it was Frank Ntilikina that got the start, and he had a great opportunity to impress Fizdale and the Knicks. But early foul trouble didn't help his cause. 

Ntilikina, who started for the seventh time this season, eventually fouled out and Fizdale knows that foul trouble hurt him getting into any sort of rhythm. 

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke, Scott Thompson
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Jan 25, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Trey Burke (23) drives against Brooklyn Nets point guard Shabazz Napier (13) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 25, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Trey Burke (23) drives against Brooklyn Nets point guard Shabazz Napier (13) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Knicks got off to a hot start, but the Nets closed this one out 109-99 to extend their win streak to six games on Friday night at Barclays Center. >> Box score

Things to know about Friday's game

1) It was another fourth quarter plunge, as the Knicks struggled to put the ball in the hoop and mount a comeback. They only scored 17 points, allowing the Nets to close this one out.

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke, Scott Thompson
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Fizdale not worried after loss 00:00:48
The Knicks suffered another loss to their cross-town rival the Nets, but David Fizdale says fans should trust that they're getting better.

In their last crosstown matchup of the season, the Knicks fell to the Nets 109-99, as Brooklyn extended their win streak to six games on Friday night at Barclays Center. >> Box score

Things to know about Friday's game

1) It was another fourth quarter plunge, as the Knicks struggled to put the ball in the hoop and mount a comeback. They only scored 17 points, allowing the Nets to close this one out.

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke, Scott Thompson
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