moocow007 wrote:As a Knick fan...and trying to be objective (no Knick fan colored glasses here)...my thoughts on Frank (and it's the same thoughts during his entire tenure as a Knick and not because he's no longer a Knick).
Not been given a chance
This is Sparta!!! I mean this is the NBA!!! I'm really not sure what chance he hasn't been given. If we were talking about grade school then ok, but we're not. You have to take the opportunity given to you (and he's been given plenty of opportunities) and make things happen. Heading into last season all the chatter among Knick fans was that "FINALLY Frank will get a chance under Thibs" and "Thibs is the perfect coach for Frank and Frank is the perfect player for Thibs (defense, defense, defense!)". Frank the "great defender" and Thibs the great defensive coach was supposed to be a marriage made in heaven right?
Well that marriage never even got to the engagement as Franks continued passive play and inability to do anything on the offensive end (and honestly not much on the defensive end) earned him a spot towards the end of the bench. Now it could dispel the rather basic notion that Thibs only cares about defense but may also go a ways to dispel the notion of...
Franks an elite defender
That Frank Ntilikina has been one of the Knicks better defenders (even their best wing defender) for his tenure here is without question. But it really says more about the defensive ability of his teammates as a Knick than it does about his own "elite" defense. Being the slimmest fat chick doesn't mean you're a super model. It just means that the rest of the gals you hang around with are even fatter.
Frank Ntilkina is not a top tier defender. Really not sure where folks get this notion from. He's not the fastest player side to side, east to west, north to south nor as we all know the most aggressive player. He does have very long wingspan and very much understands the concepts of team defense but we need to reign in the whole "elite defender" business here. Matisse Thybulle is an elite defender. Frank Ntilikina is not anywhere near that range so far.
Reality is that his defense was not good enough to afford him minutes on the court for a defensive centric head coach who has played plenty of high end defensive centric players plenty of minutes in his coaching history. Proof that Thibs does play high end defensive centric players with offensive limitations can be seen right on the same bench. Nerlens Noel is essentially a zero on the offensive end and yet played heavy minutes in part because of his high end game impacting defensive skills and the consistency with which he was able to play it.
Franks shooting has grown leaps and bounds
His 3 point percentage has definitely sky rocketed last season. 47.9% from 3. But that's based on a grand total of 48 attempts. While yeah maybe he has finally figured out how to shoot it's not exactly a great barometer to conclusively come to any conclusion about his shooting.
Also realize that despite shooting 47.9% from 3, his overall field goal % was 36.7%. That means his 2 point field goal percentage was...ready?...19.4%. If we are going to believe that 47.9% is a correct measure of his 3 point shooting future then why wouldn't we also believe that 19.4% is a correct measure of his 2 point shooting future? FYI...the lowest qualifying 2 point fg% in NBA history is 27.2%. Frank Ntilikina did not take enough 2 point fg attempts to qualify.
Frank appears to be a real good guy. He seems to be very much interested in playing the "right way". His defense is without question solid and he has the tools to do (a lot) more. But up until now (4 years done) he's not shown the ability at all to: a) run the point, b) score, c) shoot (unless you believe those 48 attempts from 3 are what his future holds), d) endear himself to any of 4 coaches rotations. Nor has he shown that his defense is so "elite" that you can live with his severe offensive inabilities.
His biggest apparent problem is his lack of consistent aggressiveness and near zero offensive impact...so much so that even if he manages to directly or indirectly create a turnover from on the defensive end he himself then immediately becomes a liability for his team on the other end as they try to convert off the turnover (he's not able to push the ball if he ends up with it and he's not able to shoot, attack the rim or pass well enough to help support his teammates as they attempt to score off the turnover).
Whether it's because he's shell shocked, too timid or whatever, you can only hide under the "oh he's just trying to play team ball" so much. In the NBA nowadays you really can't afford for your guards to not be able to create, shoot and/or score at all. In fact it's more likely to see Frank pass up a wide open look than it is him trying to actually do anything with it. It's like the basketball is hot potato with him.
So if he does become the player that just about every Knick fan has been hoping for and expecting as a Maverick (or with another team) then great for him. But I wouldn't get too excited just yet or hold my breath. He should do better at least with Luka hopefully getting him (much) easier looks but he's still going to have to actually want to finish (shoot or drive)...and that's been his problem (apparently wanting to do so on the offensive end).
I didn't read the entire post but if your a Knicks fan you can remember him putting up 15 lots than 17pts than getting hurt. Than coming in this season really aggressive offensively and looking good...than getting hurt. If he can stay healthy he'll be a stud.
15 lots of times? Frank Ntilikina?
He scored more 10 or more points 3 times (a 12 point game before he got injured, then 2 13 point games when he came back) compared to scoring scoring 2 or fewer points 30 times last season (including 19 games of 0 points).
Even if we chalk this past season up to injury (see excuse), the season before he scored 10 or more points 11 times compared to scoring 2 or fewer points 13 times. The season before that he scored more than 10 or more points 6 times compared to scoring 2 or fewer points 9 times.
Points of comparison:
Elfrid Payton, the worst starting PG in the NBA last season and a guy who would probably not even be the backup PG on most other NBA teams? He scored 10 or more points 30 times (including 7 games where he scored 20 or more points) and managed 2 or fewer points 9 times. And Payton is a guy who can't shoot or create off the dribble like a NBA PG should.
Immanuel Quickly, a rookie scored 10 ore more points 33 times (including 11 games of 20 more more points) and managed 2 or fewer points just 6 times. Quickly was in his 1st year, Frank in his 4th year.
If you were a more realistic fan of basketball you'd realize he's just not that good of a NBA player and stop giving this guy every single excuse you can find under the sun. I mean honestly. It's because of injury, it's because of the coaches (every single one of them who apparently didn't think he was all that good), it's because of the pressure of NY, it's because of Elfrid Payton, it's because the Knicks didn't develop him, it's because the planets aren't aligned, it's because there's a conspiracy to keep Frank's potential down, etc.
Being a great guy with long arms that tries to play team ball (what he is) doesn't mean he is an NBA stud.