New York Knicks: Point guard power rankings after preseason opener

New York Knicks (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Another year, another point guard conundrum for the New York Knicks. Where do the players stand at this position after the first preseason game?

Point guard is always a position of need for the New York Knicks, given they have not found a steady player to man this position in decades. Past options have been short-term fixes, including Jason Kidd in 2012-13 and Jose Calderon‘s short stint.

For 2019-20, the Knicks have another point guard situation to sort. Three players have the chance to start on Oct. 23, when the regular season opens. No one has risen above the pack yet, and David Fizdale has yet to officially announce a starter for later this month.

One preseason game passed, too, which made a decision one step closer. For now, though, how do the competing players stack against each other for Oct. 11? Let’s take a look:

3. player. 27. . . . Frank Ntilikina

After all the offseason hoopla, Frank Ntilikina remains with the New York Knicks. His FIBA World Cup seemed to change some of the perceptions around his disappointing two seasons, after struggling to make strides as a rookie or sophomore.

However, Ntilikina is still third in line in the Knicks’ point guard conundrum.

The Frenchman received 22 minutes in the preseason opener, which was a positive development, except it happened when Dennis Smith Jr. missed the game due to injury. Elfrid Payton started.

With nine points, five rebounds, three assists and one block on 3-for-10 shooting, it was a fluctuating night for Ntilikina. He made shots, one of which from behind the arc, and contributed around the stat sheet, but just 30 percent won’t win over anything.

Not likely to open the season as the starting point guard, it makes sense for Ntilikina to play around the lineup. He may not be a shooting guard, but playing off the ball works if he is the fourth option for the lead distributor to pass to. Defense and making the occasional shot work for this role, with what he settled into for Team France.

Anything bigger is probably too much for Ntilikina at this point. Tapping into his defensive versatility is his strong suit, and hoping for something more will create unnecessary expectations. Not all lottery picks become superstars, but there is every chance for him to stick as an NBA reserve for the next decade.