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Frank Ntilikina

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A few notes in the aftermath of the Knicks' loss to the Lakers:

NYK looking for more aggressive Knox:

Before Wednesday's game, Mike Miller laid out what the organization is looking for from second-year wing Kevin Knox:

"Our key points there are just his overall aggressiveness on everything... He's rebounding better. That was an area that we wanted to see (from) him and he has increased that. And you can see our team rebounding has gotten better and he's part of that equation. Being more aggressive where he's driving the ball, where he's cutting, where he's running in transition, where he's having opportunities to get fouled. I think we're seeing those things. And just the consistency of doing all that. And then on the defensive side having a real presence on the ball and using physicality, using his length, getting three to five deflections a game, that type of activity defensively."

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Ian Begley
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The Bucks handled things from start to finish Tuesday night in Milwaukee, sending the Knicks back to New York with a 128-102 loss. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1) The Bucks came out hot and all but ended the game in the first few minutes of action, going up 18-4 less than half way through the first quarter. Despite the Knicks coming back to make it 29-23 after 12 minutes, the Bucks went on a 36-17 to take a 25-point lead at halftime. Milwaukee got out to as large as a 35-point lead Tuesday night. New York's offense struggled without its leading scorer in Marcus Morris, who missed his fifth straight game due to a neck injury.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kadeem Allen, RJ Barrett
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 (Russell Isabella)
(Russell Isabella)

The Knicks dropped their fourth straight game on Wednesday, falling to the Utah Jazz 128-104 in Salt Lake City. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Wednesday's game

1) The Knicks' starting lineup had a different look on Wednesday. With both Julius Randle (personal reasons) and Marcus Morris (sore neck) not playing, Reggie Bullock and Bobby Portis were insterted into the starting five. The new group didn't get off to the best start, as the Jazz jumped out to a nine-point lead with four and a half minutes left in the first quarter. Utah maintained a 10-point lead after one, but they continued to shoot the lights out in the second quarter, finishing with a 65 percent clip as a team from the floor and a 72-53 lead at the break.

The Jazz controlled the second half, and while the Knicks' second unit made a late run in the fourth quarter, this game was all Utah, as the Knicks dropped their fourth straight game.

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Mark Edwards is a life-long Knicks fan. So he knows how desperate the fanbase is for a winner. 

Edwards is also a long-time basketball trainer. In his 26-year career, Edwards has trained dozens of pros, including Terrence Ross and Mike Scott, as well as hundreds of college players. 

This summer, he worked with Knicks' second-year wing Kevin Knox, and Edwards has a message for Knicks fans keeping an eye on Knox: be patient. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Dec 7, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 7, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Knicks will be without Dennis Smith Jr. for Wednesday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers, but New York is set to welcome a key offseason addition back into the fold.

Ahead of the 7:30 p.m. tip-off between the Knicks (9-24) and the Blazers (14-20) at Madison Square Garden, Reggie Bullock (cervical disc herniation) and Frank Ntilikina (sore groin) are available to play.

Smith Jr., meanwhile is out for with a strained left oblique. He was inactive for the past two games, starting with missing last Thursday's 94-82 win over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks on Thursday must've looked a lot like the team management envisioned when they built the roster in July. 

Julius Randle (33 points on 14-for-26 shooting, 8 rebounds) dominated on offense. The ball moved well, thanks in part to Elfrid Payton (13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists). Marcus Morris complemented Randle (22 points, 8 rebounds) and the Knicks limited Brooklyn to an NBA season-low 27 percent shooting.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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With Thursday night's 94-82 win over the Nets, the Knicks are now 8-24 on the season, and though their record isn't much to write home about, the team has shown improvement of late, winning four of their last eight games. 

One of the main reasons for the Knicks' recent stretch of more consistent play has been the performance of Elfrid Payton, who has helped solidify the team's point guard situation.

In the Knicks' previous seven games heading into Thursday, Payton averaged 8.6 points, 7.9 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per contest. He replaced Frank Ntilikina in the Knicks' starting lineup on Saturday against Milwaukee.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Spencer Dinwiddie
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Marcus Morris, Dennis Smith Jr. and Julius Randle (Treated Image by SNY)
Marcus Morris, Dennis Smith Jr. and Julius Randle (Treated Image by SNY)

Dec. 15 was the unofficial start of trade season in the NBA, opening the doors for recently signed free agents to be dealt. 

This creates options for the Knicks, who have surged lately, but may still look to make a number of moves. The logjam at power forward could make way for a Julius Randle or Marcus Morris deal, with both on short-term contracts and a potential return of a young player or draft pick in play. New York can also ship out one of their three young point guards, all scrapping for playing time and trying to show flashes of their potential. 

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Dec 7, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 7, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The first trimester of the 2019-20 NBA season has passed and the New York Knicks are still looking for answers. They are tied for the third worst record in the NBA at 6-23. The point guard position battle has been a wash, and the trio of Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr. and Elfrid Payton has been inconsistent with very few flashes of exceptional play. 

None of the point guards have pulled away from the pack, which has caused inconsistent rotations and sporadic playing time for all three players. With only 48 minutes to be divvied up, interim head coach Mike Miller has his hands full attempting to split up playing time. Ntilikina was a starter for 23 of the past 24 games before Payton opened up Saturday night's 123-102 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

As SNY's Ian Begley reported, teams are under the impression that the Knicks are open to moving a point guard. The position has been a major weakness for New York this season, and based off of the small sample size, New York's starting point guard of the future is not on the roster currently.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina
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As the Knicks continue to figure out their point guard rotation this season, Mike Miller made his first adjustment to the starting lineup since taking over as head coach.

Elfrid Payton got the nod at the one spot for the Knicks Saturday night when they faced the Bucks at Madison Square Garden, a spot that for a majority of the season had gone to Frank Ntilikina.

Ironically enough, Payton had actually won the starting spot in training camp to start the season, but got injured just a few games in, leading to Ntilikina being inserted into the lineup thereafter.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina
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For the second straight night, the Knicks never led during Saturday's 123-102 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game

1) Similar to Friday night, the Knicks came out of the gates very slowly. Milwaukee jumped out to a 17-4 lead in the first three minutes of the game, and they were on fire from beyond the arc, eventually sinking their first six three-point attempts. But to the Knicks' credit, they didn't fold completely, fighting their way back into the game. Still, the Bucks were up by 14 points at the half.

In the second half, things started to fall apart. Thanks in part to hot three-point shooting and Giannis Antetokounmpo taking over, the Knicks found themselves down by 23 midway through the third. All five Bucks' starters scored in double-digits without playing many minutes in the fourth, with Khris Middleton leading the way at 23 points.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox
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Dec 20, 2019; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis (1) dunks the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Dec 20, 2019; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis (1) dunks the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Friday night's game in Miami was one to forget for the Knicks, as the Heat led from opening tip to the final whistle, winning 129-114 to hand the Knicks their 22nd loss in 29 games.

And on a night when most of the Knicks starters struggled as a whole, with RJ Barrett shooting just 1-of-10 from the floor while Julius Randle went 3-of-13, the Knicks did receive a boost off the bench in the form of Bobby Portis.

In a 24-minute run off the bench, Portis scored a season-high 30 points, shooting 12-of-17 from the floor. Portis drained four three-pointers and added eight rebounds and three steals as well. 

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Frank Ntilikina
Frank Ntilikina

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

With the trade deadline a few weeks away, we've been asking teams about the trade value of some of the Knicks. Here's what three teams had to say about Marcus Morris. We also asked a few teams about Frank Ntilikina's value:

"They drafted him at eight (Ntilikina was the eighth overall pick in 2017) and they're obviously not going to get back a top-10 pick for him," one team said. "But he still has value. A lot of people value him around the league because he's still young (21) and he plays defense. His shot isn't there, but there's reason to think he can improve. Getting a second round pick for him, that's not even a question. I'm not sure about a first, maybe a late first. You can't rule it out. Crazier things have happened in this league."

The Knicks seemed committed to moving Ntilikina before the 2019 NBA Draft. But they couldn't find a deal that they liked. There's no indication at the moment that they're as eager to move him now as they were in June.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Trade season started, unofficially, on Sunday. That was the first day most free agents who signed over the summer were eligible to be moved. The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 6, so there's plenty of time for teams to discuss potential deals.

It will be interesting to see how the Knicks approach the trade season, as the seven veterans they signed over the summer are now eligible to be moved. At 7-21, New York could be willing to trade some of those veterans to acquire future assets, and give younger players more minutes/chances to develop.

But, as noted earlier this month, it's unclear if they'll take that approach. Instead, they may look for ways to improve the roster in the short-term.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Mar 15, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Reggie Bullock (35) before the game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Mar 15, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Reggie Bullock (35) before the game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

The Knicks are set to add another piece to their rotation.

The team announced on Tuesday that Reggie Bullock, who has been recovering from cervical surgery, has been cleared for full participation in practice, and will be back on the practice courts with the team on Wednesday.

Bullock signed a two-year deal with the Knicks this past July worth $8.2 million, but as was the case with the other veterans the team signed in the offseason, the second year is not fully guaranteed, making it basically a team option. 

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Dec 15, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) dribbles the ball up court as New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) guards in the first quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sportss (Isaiah J. Downing)
Dec 15, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) dribbles the ball up court as New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) guards in the first quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sportss (Isaiah J. Downing)

After the Knicks consecutive wins over the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings, New York fell short of three straight Sunday, falling 111-105 to the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center in Denver and ultimately splitting the past week's four-game road trip. >> Box Score

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Dec 11, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) drives against Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall (7) during the first quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports  (Stan Szeto)
Dec 11, 2019; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris Sr. (13) drives against Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall (7) during the first quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

The Knicks snapped a 10-game losing streak by holding on for a 124-122 overtime win over the Warriors. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Wednesday's game

1) The Knicks came out of the gates strong against the Warriors, who are without superstars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. New York jumped out to a 10-point lead after one, and they pushed their lead up to 18 points at the half. Early in the third, the Knicks led by as many as 22 points, but the Warriors' defense helped them get back in the game, cutting the Knicks lead to five points in the opening minute of the fourth quarter and then tied the game at 89-89 with eight and a half minutes to play.

With the game tied 103-103 with two minutes to go, Marcus Morris came up clutch, knocking down free throws to give the Knicks the lead, followed by a jumper to extend the lead. Thanks mainly to Morris, the Knicks were up by three in the final seconds, but D'Angelo Russell knocked down a three to send the game to overtime. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett
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The Knicks fought valiantly, but a last-second free throw miss saw the team fall to the Pacers 104-103 on Saturday. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game

1) In Mike Miller's debut as the team's interim coach, the Knicks came out of the gates playing well. Marcus Morris and RJ Barrett each scored an early four points, leading to a 14-7 Knicks' lead midway through the quarter. Miller said before the game that he wanted to see more ball movement, and that was the case early on. The Pacers fought back though, led by TJ Warren (25 points)and Domantis Sabonis (19 points).

Early in the fourth quarter, the Pacers pushed their lead to 92-81, but the Knicks didn't let the game get out of hand. New York went on a 14-4 run, spurred on by Elfrid Payton, to get back within one point. Later, the scored stayed put at 104-100 for a long stretch, until Morris hit a floater to bring the Knicks within two points with under two to go.

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson
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On Friday, the New York Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale just 22 games into his second season. Unhappy with the 4-18 start to the year, management decided it was time to move in another direction.

What that direction ends up being is anybody's guess, but in the meantime they pegged Mike Miller as interim head coach. That name might not have the punch of a Mark Jackson or Becky Hammon, but Miller may turn out to be exactly what the Knicks need, and should be considered as more of a contender for the vacancy than a stopgap.

Miller hails from the G League, where he coached the Westchester Knicks - New York's affiliate - for four seasons. In that stretch he made the playoffs three times and amassed a .540 regular season win percentage.

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With the team's record dropping to 4-18 after an embarrassing 37-point home loss to the Denver Nuggets, it was utterly predictable when the New York Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale in a Friday afternoon news dump. 

Just as predictable was the resounding chorus that cropped up in wake of the move, declaring that Fizdale was not the problem in New York. 

Unquestionably, that is true. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, Noah Vonleh
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The Knicks lost their second straight game in blowout fashion, as the Nuggets came into Madison Square Garden on Thursday and left with a 129-92 win. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Thursday's game

1) The Knicks led by six points with five and a half minutes to go in the first quarter, and while that opening stretch was a noticeable improvement over their last game against the Bucks, things were all downhill from there. The Knicks struggled particularly in defending the three-pointer, as Denver found open shot after shot from beyond the arc. Overall, the Nuggets shot 21-39 (.538) from beyond the arc. This was the fifth game this season that Knicks have trailed by 30-plus points, with three of them coming at home. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

As the Knicks (4-17) prepare to host the Denver Nuggets (13-5) Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York, here are several notes from Wednesday's practice.

With seven straight losses, the Knicks continue to search for their first win since Nov. 18's 123-105 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they should get a big boost in the lineup.

Marcus Morris should return for the Knicks against Denver after missing two games with a neck injury (more on that below). New York should also have Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina vs. the Nuggets.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Dec 1, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale reacts after a turnover against the Boston Celtics during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 1, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale reacts after a turnover against the Boston Celtics during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

We are at about the quarter-way point of the NBA season and the Knicks find themselves with the second worst record in the league and at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

At 4-17, the Knicks have fallen to new lows and are on pace to break the record they tied last season for the worst season in team history. 

Head coach David Fizdale has been in an extremely hot seat ever since Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry held a rare press conference after the team started the season 2-8. 

Since then, the Knicks have gone 2-9.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Dec 2, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots over New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis (1) in the first quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports  (Michael McLoone)
Dec 2, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots over New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis (1) in the first quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports (Michael McLoone)

The Knicks never led in Monday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks and dropped their seventh straight game, 132-88. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1) Milwaukee jumped out to a 33-15 lead after the first quarter and coasted the rest of the way to a victory. Khris Middleton's three-pointer on the first position of the game set the tone, and the Knicks were never closer on the scoreboard than they were at the opening tip-off.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kadeem Allen
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Nov 29, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles up court during the first quarter at against the Philadelphia 76ers Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 29, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles up court during the first quarter at against the Philadelphia 76ers Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Frank Ntilikina is out of the lineup for Monday's game against the Bucks, the Knicks announced

Ntilikina had been listed as questionable earlier in the day, but with the point guard's status up in the air, the team brought in Kadeem Allen from Westchester. 

Ntilikina played just seven minutes in Sunday's loss to the Celtics before being removed due to back spasms. Dennis Smith Jr. played a season-high 38 minutes in his absence, scoring 17 points, another season high. 

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Nov 20, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Nov 20, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Knicks will be missing one of their key players when they take on the Bucks on Monday night in Milwaukee, with Marcus Morris (cervical spasms) ruled out.

Morris did not travel with the Knicks to Milwaukee.

Frank Ntilikina, who left Sunday's game against the Celtics early due to back spasms and was later ruled out, is questionable for Monday night.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Danny Abriano
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The Knicks were outscored 32-14 in the fourth quarter, eventually losing 113-104 to the Celtics at Madison Square Garden. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1) Julius Randle led the Knicks with 26 points and five rebounds, but went 0-for-5 from three in the game. The team as a whole went just 8-for-26 (30.8 percent) from three, while the Celtics shot 15-for-41 from three (36.6 percent).

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina
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Nov 29, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles up court during the first quarter at against the Philadelphia 76ers Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Nov 29, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) dribbles up court during the first quarter at against the Philadelphia 76ers Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina will not return to Sunday's game against the Celtics, as he is dealing with a sore upper back, the team announced.

Ntilikina played just seven minutes against the Celtics before exiting the game. He had three points and an assist in limited action.

The No. 8 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft has been playing some of his best basketball recently as the Knicks starting point guard. He has been averaging 7.6 points and 4.6 assists over the last ten games.

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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

If you look at the box score of Friday's Knicks-Sixers game, Kevin Knox's DNP-CD makes sense. With Knox on the bench, the Knicks had a chance to win a game against one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference.

But if you dig a little deeper, the idea that Knox -- the Knicks' 2018 first-round pick -- didn't play at all Friday night leads to questions about New York's direction this season.

The Knicks, as you know, spent $70 million in free agency over the summer. So they came into the season expecting to be much more competitive than last year's 17-win team.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks rank 29th in points per possession. They also rank 27th in pace. The two numbers don't correlate directly, of course. (The Lakers are bottom ten in pace and top ten in offense.) But you can be sure that the Knicks want to increase their ranking in both categories. 

David Fizdale said his team spent time on Tuesday playing with a 12-second shot clock in an effort to increase their pace. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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RJ Barrett (Bill Streicher)
RJ Barrett (Bill Streicher)

The Toronto homecoming for Knicks rookie RJ Barrett may not be too joyous, as the team announced he is dealing with an illness and is currently questionable to play. 

It would be a shame if Barrett couldn't play in his first game in his home country, especially considering the Raptors are reportedly planning a tribute for the 19-year-old, per The Post's Marc Berman. Barrett has played for Team Canada in the past, while his father, Rowan Barrett, is the GM for the Canadian national team. 

Barrett actually sat out of his first game on Sunday against the Nets with an illness, but it was only as a precaution. If Barrett does have to sit out again, it wouldn't just hurt the Raptors' plans for him, but would hurt the Knicks' production as well.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Knicks found themselves down by as much as 28 points in Saturday night's game against the Spurs and ultimately lost by seven, but if there were a moral victory to be found from the performance--though David Fizdale says there are no moral victories--it would be Frank Ntilikina's performance.

Ntilikina put together one of his best all-around games of the season against San Antonio, scoring nine points, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out a season-high nine assists. But those stats aren't even the main takeaways of his night.

The point guard played a great game on the defensive side of the ball by locking up ball handlers, pressing up in the backcourt and stealing the ball a career-high tying six times, helping the Knicks cause 21 Spurs turnovers Saturday.

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The Knicks fell down from the get go Saturday night and couldn't get themselves completely back up in this one, as the Spurs came into Madison Square Garden and beat New York 111-104 to end their eight game losing streak. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game

1) The Knicks were unable to capitalize on the Spurs recent uncharacteristic struggles and had a rough time in this one, going down early and letting things get out of hand by the middle of the second quarter--just about the same time the first boos started to rain down at Madison Square Garden from the Knicks faithful.

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Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks onto the court during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks onto the court during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

The Knicks started the season with just one win in their first eight games, but as of late, the team has shown signs of finding more consistency. 

With a stretch of three wins in their last seven games, the Knicks are building back into the team they hoped to be heading into the season, and according to head coach David Fizdale, it all comes down to how well the Knicks have been defending the paint lately.

"We're taking care of the paint, and that was our number one emphasis," Fizdale said prior to Saturday's game against the Spurs. "Can we be a top five team defensively in shutting down the paint? I think right now we're like five or six, teetering in that area now. The next thing is us getting a little more uncomfortable at getting to the three-point line. Touch fouls I think is another thing we can get better at and improve on, but I'm definitely happy about the way we're shutting down the paint."

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson
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Sacramento Kings big man Richaun Holmes is now playing in his fifth NBA season, and after three years in the Eastern Conference with the Sixers, he's gotten to know the New York basketball scene pretty well.

On Thursday, Holmes caught up with SNY Insider Ian Begley to talk New York hoops.

The Kings are in town to take on the Nets on Friday night, and Holmes believes the Nets present a tough challenge.

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While the Knicks ultimately fell down the stretch of Wednesday's 109-104 loss to the Sixers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, New York emerged with optimism after Frank Ntilikina's performance.

Ntilikina's season-high 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including three free throws and two triples, in 32:54 fueled the Knicks (4-11) before the Sixers (9-5) came back for the fourth-quarter triumph.

David Fizdale's decision to substitute Ntilikina late in the third quarter hindered the Knicks during the Sixers' eventual 23-3 run from the 3:20 mark of the third to the 9:00 point of the fourth, turning a 77-60 Knicks lead to an 83-82 Sixers edge, but the third-year point guard defended his second-year head coach's move after the game.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina
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Damyean Dotson (Adam Hunger)
Damyean Dotson (Adam Hunger)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A few Knicks notes as the club enters a stretch of 11 games against teams that made the playoffs last season, starting Wednesday in Philadelphia...

(Though, not all of the Knicks' next 11 opponents are setting the world on fire this season. Entering play Wednesday, six of the 11 were in the top five in their respective conferences. The other five were a combined 19 games under .500.)

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

When Julius Randle watched tape of his games early on this season, he knew what was going wrong. He knew he was over dribbling at times, struggling with the double and triple teams being thrown his way. But nothing changed on the court. 

"He kept burning his hand on the stove and not learning his lesson," David Fizdale said. "I think, you burn it enough, you're like, 'OK, I've got to make this change.'"

Change started to come for Randle and the Knicks on Monday. Randle had 30 points, seven rebounds and four assists in New York's win over Cleveland in easily his best game as a Knick. 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier

Hornets G Terry Rozier had himself a fine night at Madison Square Garden in what became a tough 103-102 loss for the Knicks on Saturday night. But there was a point in time, back in the offseason, where Rozier thought he would be part of the home team.

Rozier had the Knicks in mind during his search for a new team in free agency. He had proven his worth as the Celtics' sixth man, and was ready to get paid. New York certainly had the cap space, but they didn't shell out enough of it. 

"It was probably one of my first options," Rozier told The Post's Marc Berman. "I probably was going to make it happen. Other things happened and I ended up going to Charlotte. It was the interest they showed in me, that was big. The organization believed in me, why not."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina
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The Hornets had to dig themselves out of a hole Saturday night against the Knicks, but in using the three-ball to do so, they were able to escape Madison Square Garden with a big victory.

It was impressive to see how many three-point shots the Hornets attempted in this game, let alone how many they hit. Once it was all said and done, the Hornets finished 17-of-48 from three-point range. 

No three was more important than the final one, a Devonte Graham dagger with 2.1 seconds left to play. The go-ahead shot was Graham's ninth three-pointer of the game.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett
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You would think that after a team picks up a win, let alone a huge moral victory that had a lot of background noise to it, that they'd figure a way to keep that momentum going in your next game, right? Well, the Knicks just did the opposite of that Saturday night against the Hornets.

The Knicks, who were coming off their third win of the season and the second one over Kristaps Porzingis and the possible playoff-bound Mavericks, seemed to pick up right where they left off, holding multiple double-digit leads from the first quarter and on till the middle of the third.

But then the team imploded and watched their 13 point lead midway through the third turn into a one-point deficit with 30 seconds left in the quarter. The two sides would go back and forth down the stretch, but a three-point dagger from Most Improved Player of the Year candidate, Devonte Graham, with 2.1 seconds left all but sealed the game. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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The Knicks (3-10) couldn't hold on again Saturday night, as they blew a double-digit third quarter lead and ultimately fell 103-102 to the Hornets (6-7) on a go-ahead three-pointer. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game...

1) Once again, the Knicks allowed one player--this time Devonte Graham--go off on them and crush their spirits. Graham, a 2018 second round pick out of Kanas, hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 2.1 second left to send the Knicks packing. Graham scored 26 points and hit a stunning nine three-pointers to shut the Knicks down on their home floor.

 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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The Knicks earned their third win of the season on Thursday night, beating the Mavs 106-103, as two of their wins have come against Dallas.

Head coach David Fizdale talked about the team's struggles at home earlier this week, and also mentioned what went wrong after beating the Mavs on Nov. 11.

"I don't think it was complacency. I really don't," Fizdale said on Friday. "I really felt like this team is just trying to do so well for the city. I really do. Their intentions are right. They're trying to carry the weight of the city on their shoulders. I just told them you can't do that. I said it's an impossible task. You've got to focus on who's around you in the locker room and put forth effort for the people in the locker room and the city will appreciate that kind of effort. So hopefully we learned that lesson from last night."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

After the Knicks' win over the Mavericks on Thursday, Dennis Smith Jr. spent some time reflecting at his locker. 

"It was kind of bittersweet for me, beating the team that traded me but my stepmom wasn't here to see it," Smith Jr. said. "…. I had to take some time out to myself and really digest something like that. She watched every game. Every single game. Even when I was in college.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A couple weeks ago, Frank Ntilikina walked into David Fizdale's office, unannounced, and delivered a message: 

"He just said, 'Coach, I've been through a lot in my two years. I feel like I finally understand what the NBA is about. I know I haven't shown it yet, but I'm a dog, too,'" Fizdale said. "It was so cool to hear him say that. And (Thursday against Dallas) he showed that he is really a junkyard dog when it comes to competition."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks are 1-3 at home and have lost their last two games at Madison Square Garden by a combined 42 points. David Fizdale thinks he knows at least one reason why the club has struggled at home. 

"Honestly I think they want to do so well for the fanbase I think they get tight. I really do," he said. "I've looked at all of the different things that have happened and I just feel like sometimes -- they really want to do well for the city. 

"With everything that's happened over the course of the last year, these guys want to play hard for the city, they want to win for the city. I just think sometimes when it starts to go the other way, they play not to lose instead of playing to win."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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The Knicks returned home to Madison Square Garden in New York on Sunday after last week's two-game road trip and lost 108-87 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Sunday's game...

1) Taken by the Cavs just one spot in front of the Knicks' pick in the 2018 NBA draft, No. 8 overall selection Collin Sexton showed the Knicks what they missed out on. Sexton dropped a game-high 31 points -- also a season- and career-best scoring output -- shooting 10 of 16 from the field and going 5 for 8 on three-pointers to fuel Cleveland past New York. With the No. 9 overall pick, of course, the Knicks selected small forward Kevin Knox, who scored nine points and grabbed three rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

David Fizdale hasn't decided yet if Frank Ntilikina will start at point guard when Elfrid Payton is healthy. But it certainly sounds like Fizdale will keep Ntilikina in the starting lineup when Payton returns -- as long as he and the Knicks are playing well. 

Here's what Fizdale said when asked on Sunday if Payton, who has missed the last six games with a hamstring injury, will start at point guard when he returns to the lineup:  

"I'm going to base it on how things are going for us at the time when he gets back," Fizdale said. "If things are going well, we'll probably stay with what we're doing. If for some reason it's not, maybe we'll look at putting him back in there. But we won't make that decision until the time comes."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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From an individual standpoint, Kristaps Porzingis' first game against his former team was a success, but his strong effort wasn't enough, as the Knicks topped the Mavs 106-102 on Friday in Dallas.

Porzingis fouled out of the game with 30 seconds to play, but overall he showed exactly why the Knicks selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, scoring 28 points while adding nine rebounds and five blocks.

After the final whistle, Porzingis spoke with his former head coach David Fizdale near center court.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

DALLAS - Kristaps Porzingis' first game against the Knicks turned into a coming out party for Frank Ntilikina

The 21-year-old had 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks in New York's win over Dallas. 

"This was his best game since he's been in the league," David Fizdale said after the win. "Just what he's been doing is getting better and better. Every game he becomes more confident. I'm really happy for the kid."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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