Which players should Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina study to take his game to the next level?
In 2017, the New York Knicks selected French point guard Frank Ntilikina with the 8th overall pick. Frank was met with the traditional boos from the blue and orange faithful who were hoping the team would select Dennis Smith Jr—just ask Stephen A Smith. Ntilikina’s play since being drafted has left many split on their opinions about him.
On the one hand, we have the Ntilikina Hive, a group of fans on the internet who swear Ntilikina is the next great Knicks point guard and future Defensive Player of the Year; while the other half of fans are convinced he is a bust based on his extremely underwhelming stats (Career avg of 6.0 pts, 2.2 rbs, 3.1 ast) and dreadful shooting percentages (Career avg 36.6 FG%, 31.1 FG3%, 78.3 FT%).
Personally I’m split between both sides. I mean, at least he’s not Julius Randle, spinning more than a night out with the boys. He has legitimately elite defensive skills that even Luka Doncic has yet to figure out.
But regardless of how much we hate on Julius Randle’s spinning and winning(?), at least he can consistently produce points and has go-to moves that produce decent looks at the basket. Frank, to this point, has basically zero offensive game outside of a spot-up three and a crossover into a mid-range shot. He did dunk on the Covid-King Rudy Gobert that one time, but besides that, the young French guard’s highlights are few and far in-between.
In order for Ntilikina to take the next step into becoming a competent NBA player, he needs to fine-tune his game by modeling his play after a few players who have come before him. While none of these players are offensive superstars, their style of play is something Frank should look to emulate and attempt to bring into his own game.