Skip to main content

Is Frank Ntilikina a BUST?

In the 2017 NBA Draft, the Knicks were desperate for a point guard of the future. I was beyond excited when the Knicks chose Frank Ntilikina, a 6'5" 18-year-old with a 7-foot wingspan. Looking at his highlights prior to the season, I said this:

"I know that Frank Ntilikina is listed as a point guard. I’ve seen highlights of him and I don’t think he has an NBA handle… yet. He’s not even 19-years-old yet, so hopefully the Knicks can keep him long enough to inevitably trade him for Jerian Grant.

All kidding aside I think he is going to be a great defender and I support the pick. He is just not a NBA point guard yet."

2157889318001_5481443528001_5481391683001-vs.jpg


In 20 minutes a game, the precocious neophyte (Clyde term) is averaging 5.6 points and 3 assists, shooting 36% from the field and 31% from three. When compared to Dennis Smith Jr.'s 15 points and 5 assists shooting 39% from the field and 30% from three, some Knicks fans are already writing Ntilikina off as a bust.

I'm not going to waste my time comparing the two players; Dennis Smith Jr. is projected to have a better career at this point, but 1) they're both so young, we have plenty of time to judge and 2) even if Smith Jr. ends up being better, that doesn't make Ntilikina a bust by any means. Let me go over some of the arguments and my retort.

GettyImages-867251294.jpg


Frank can't shoot


Yes, his percentages don't jump out at you by any means, but the dude is 19 years old. He seems to have a solid work ethic and wants to get better. Let's see what happens in a couple years before we write him off.

Frank was not drafted because he was supposed to be Steph Curry, he was drafted because of his defense, and that stands.

download.jpg


Frank is not a Point Guard


Maybe, but at 6'5" with a 7-foot wingspan, he can flourish playing the 2. The NBA is becoming a positionless sport anyway, who cares if he's not going to be a traditional point guard? There are plenty of playmakers in the league.

Long term Frank may develop into a 3-and-D wing, I just hope the Knicks don't trade him to the Spurs beforehand.




I named my blog Swiss Cheese D after Clyde's famous term for the Knicks' crappy defense. Players like Ntilikina are the long term solution for the Knicks historically bad defense.

With his crazy wingspan and feline quickness (another Clyde term), he has the ability to reach in while still staying in front of his man, reminiscent of Kawhi Leonard. Check out how he bothers MVP candidate James Harden:

giphy.gif

Still don't believe me? Check out a more credible source than me: ESPN's Ian Begley.

https://twitter.com/IanBegley/status/975385734415900673

If you're already writing off Ntilikina, because he's not Dennis Smith Jr., then you're not seeing the long term picture here.

source.gif

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Swiss Cheese D Regular Season Projections 2019-2020

Here we go, here we go, here we go! What's the point of making these rankings? The Warriors are just going to win, the NBA is rigged! On a serious note, the Warriors look mortal! There are eight legitimate contenders this year and the NBA is great again! Eastern Conference Too Young, Too Unproven to take seriously 15) Charlotte Hornets The Hornets have by far the worst roster in the NBA. Kemba leaving was devastating, but when you factor in all of the poor contracts they have piled up over the years, it makes me almost think they’re the Knicks. 14) Cleveland Cavaliers The health of Kevin Love will determine their seeding, but even if he plays 82 games, there is not enough fire power on this team to be a legitimate playoff contender.  13) New York Knicks With Durant, Kyrie and Zion, the Knicks will win 10 championships in the next 8 seasons. I have said enough about this squad. Knicks fans are going to love Julius Randle, the dude is a bulldozer. Think Z

Swiss Cheese D Mailbag Feat. Free Agency Potential, Dolan's Monarchy and Mitchell Robinson's Ceiling

The last month before the playoffs is usually pretty boring. The Knicks basically locked in a top 3 spot for worst record in the league, so that 14% chance at Zion seems to be what they're facing. Only time will tell if they can win the golden ticket. In the meantime, I answered some questions from my lovely Twitter followers! https://twitter.com/Aphilpott_22/status/1105240039624245249 Robinson is such a raw talent that it's tough to say what his ceiling is, but it is clear that he is going to get paid due to his ceiling on the defensive end. On offense, expect a high efficiency low usage player. Similar to his mentor, DeAndre Jordan, Robinson rolls to the rim looking for lobs on basically every play. He is going to need to bulk up and set better screens, unfortunately I have seen Amar'e Stoudemire inspired screens thus far; the half-assed screens where he shies away with contact. Experience and the weight room will help with his screen setting. The reason why he is able to

The Knicks are not a destination for Premier Free Agents... but hope remains

In February the Knicks took a gamble. They traded their best prospect since Patrick Ewing to offload crappy contracts in Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee. The selling point to fans was simple: This would create two max slots to sign Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Dolan went on The Michael Kay Show stating, "Look, New York is the Mecca of basketball. We hear from people all the time, from players and representatives about who wants to come. We can’t respond because of the NBA rules, etc. But that doesn’t stop them from telling us, and they do. I can tell you, from what we’ve heard, I think we’re gonna have a very successful offseason when it comes to free agents." July 1 st provided us with a different outcome and the narrative across the media remains constant: The Knicks are a joke. We can speculate Porzingis’ health all we want. There is a legitimate argument that the Knicks dodged a bullet by trading away Porzingis before being forced to max out the tallest NBA player i