The Knicks will take the floor for the first time since the All-Star break on Friday night, hosting the Indiana Pacers at The Garden, and they'll have a different starting lineup when they do.
Elfrid Payton is dealing with a sore ankle and will not play, according to Knicks interim head coach Mike Miller. Taking Payton's place in the starting lineup is Frank Ntilikina.
Ntilikina has had an up-and-down third season with the Knicks. Starting 25 of the team's 49 games, Ntilikina has averaged 5.8 points and 3.0 assists while shooting .382 from the floor in 20.6 minutes per game.
The Knicks' point guard situation has been a bit of a revolving door, and although Payton has taken hold of the starting spot, Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. have both been getting inconsistent minutes off the bench.
Ntilikina was inactive for two straight games at the end of January and early February, and he's played fewer than 14 minutes in three of the five games since, but Miller is still pleased with what he's seen from the eighth-overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
"I think he's done a great job running the team. I think he has a really good command of what we're trying to do offensively. I think he has a really good feel of who he's playing with and he's helped them. I think his assist opportunities have increased. A lot of it is dependent on who he's playing with. He's played with Mitchell a lot and he's done a really good job with Mitchell, setting him up and putting him in a position to do what he does.
"Defensively, I think he's taken even another step. I think he's done a very good job defensively. So, I think he's really shown growth in a lot of areas."