Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

ESPN.com: Frank Ntilikina Single-Handedly Snaps Team USA’s 58-Game Winning Streak

Okay, that is not the actual headline, but I think that we all know that that was implied.

France has defeated Team USA 89-79 in a FIBA World Cup quarterfinal game at Dongguan, China.

The loss ends Team USA’s 58-game winning streak in international tournaments with NBA players on the roster. Their last loss was against Greece in the semifinals at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

Donovan Mitchell scored 14 of his game-high 29 points in the third quarter to give the Americans the lead at the end of the period, 66-63.

They don’t mention Frank, but he played really strong defense in the fourth and scored some key points in the big comeback for France in the final quarter (he scored five of France’s 11 points in their deficit-erasing 11-0 run).

France went on an 11-0 run late in the fourth quarter to retake a 82-76 lead that they never relinquished.

Fournier lead France with 22 points while Gobert poured in 21.

While this was obviously a much worse Team USA than normal, it was still a very embarrassing loss. Kemba Walker and Donovan Mitchell really came up short in the fourth.

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277 comments on “ESPN.com: Frank Ntilikina Single-Handedly Snaps Team USA’s 58-Game Winning Streak

  1. iserp

    Surprising world cup with Serbia, USA and Greece eliminated before semi-finals. I am following my country (Spain), and I haven’t paid too much attention to USA matches. I wonder why didnt Brook Lopez play more to drive Gobert out of the paint (couldn’t see the game, I was at work).

    Good to hear that Ntilikina is having a strong role with France. I hope he and RJ make a good pairing, since RJ can take over the playmaking responsibility. Frank has to make his three pointers, though!

  2. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Clarence Gaines
    @ClarenceGaines2
    J-Mac – Are you back on “The Fresh Prince” train after ignoring him in all of your pre-season montages about @nyknicks . Kid is a winner & if he doesn’t make it in NY, he’s going to make it somewhere.

  3. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Frank Twitter is exploding. I can’t stop laughing.

    Fredo??
    @goknickstape
    FRANK NTILIKINA JUST LED FRANCE TO A WIN AGAINST TEAM USA

    THIS IS NOT A DRILL

    FRANK NTILIKINA JUST LED FRANCE TO A WIN AGAINST TEAM USA

  4. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Knicks Addict Retweeted
    Fredo??
    @goknickstape
    The same Frank Ntilikina Celtics fans slander is the same dude who just put Kemba Walker in prison

  5. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Ian Begley
    @IanBegley
    Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina hit two big fourth-quarter shots and defended well late in France’s win over Team USA in the FIBA World Cup. The 21-year-old made a game-tying 3-pointer with 4:30 to play and knocked down a jump shot to put France up 6 with two minutes left.

  6. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Simon Stéphan
    @Simon_Stephan_
    Frank Ntilikina, 21 ans, fait la leçon aux Américains en quart de finale de Coupe du monde

    Translated from French by
    21-year-old Frank Ntilikina teaches Americans in World Cup quarterfinals

  7. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Is Frank “trending” globally on twitter yet?

    It’s hysterical. He should run for public office. He’s the most loved player on the planet. lol

  8. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    French Knicks Pod Retweeted
    Parejista
    @Parejista__
    Welcome to Frank Ntilikina tournament
    @usabasketball

  9. kevin5318

    Frank played amazing defense on another all star PG. Thats why people want to give him at least one more chance this season. If he doesn’t progress then we just move on.

  10. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Frank was just given a spot in the democrat debate because he’s polling higher than Biden and Warren! lmao

  11. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Even this Knicks hating grouch is on board!

    Frank Isola
    @TheFrankIsola
    The Knicks Frank Ntilikina was one of the best players on the court in the fourth quarter vs USA. Historic win for France.

  12. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Kevin O’Connor
    @KevinOConnorNBA
    Anyone who watched Frank Ntilikina as a prospect knew he’d stink on offense as a young NBA player. But passing vision and feel gave hope while defense was his foundation. In FIBA, we’ve seen his typical lockdown defense, plus a tighter handle and smoother jumper. He just turned 21.

  13. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Steve Popper
    @StevePopper
    Now to see if the Knicks play some of their one-year deal guys over Ntilikina again or develop their 21-year-old versatile defensive-minded guard who doesn’t need shots.

  14. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Reposted from previous thread:

    Just to bring it in balance, Frank is still very raw on offense. He’s still going to have a lot of games where he contributes very little on offense or goes 1 for 6 etc… That goes double on a “low IQ”, “isolation heavy”, “create your own shot” type of offense like the Knicks will probably run where he’ll get fewer easy looks. However, he’s clearly making progress and can contribute on a good NBA team right now if used properly in a smart offense. They played him down the stretch of this critical game and he was very good on both sides.

    In the end, it’s going to take at least 2-3 more years for him to reach whatever his potential is.

    I’m not sure the Knicks are smart enough to see his potential value or have that kind of patience to wait for it.

    I’m pretty sure Frank is smart enough to know to get out of town and go to a good organization if they aren’t developing him or using him correctly.

  15. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Tommy Beer
    @TommyBeer
    France trailed Team USA by seven points when Ntilikina checked back in the game with 8:11 left in the fourth quarter.

    France outscored USA by 17 points over the final 8 mins.

    Ntilikina (7 pts) outscored Kemba and Donvovan Mitchell combined in 4th quarter

  16. Dink

    Big day for Strat.

    Question: What should the Knicks offer Frank for his next contract?

    If the biggest Ntilikina fan on this site thinks that Frank will still be a bad offensive player next season and won’t reach his potential for another 3 years, how much is he worth until he gets ‘there’?

    $3-4million a year for 2-3 years? I have no idea how you would value something that’s still so nebulous.

  17. swiftandabundant

    Strat, I know you are uber skeptical of Fizdale but there weren’t any playmakers or passers on this team last year (outside of Frank). Mudiay, Hardaway, Burke…hell DSJ felt like a breathe of fresh air when he came over and he’s not even that great of a passing PG (hopefully can get better). Then you had Kanter down low who can score for sure but is also not a passing big man. Its easy to say the coach should implement a more team oriented offense but fuck, Trier was one of the better passing guards on our team at least with Mitch.

    Say what you want about Peyton being an average PG…he is an actual PG who will get 6 to 8 assists per game and get others involved. He is going to make a big difference in that department. And say what you will about RJ being a poor shooter…he is a playmaker. And also Randle is a better passing big man than Kanter. These 3 players are going to get minutes and that alone should help with the passing and team play tremendously. Now if Frank stays healthy and gets a consistent dosage of minutes and DSJ can improve his passing and PG play a bit…now we’re looking at a much better team as far as passing and playmaking and getting everyone involved. So there is hope.

  18. Early Bird

    Frank had a good game, would still like to see a few more rebounds and assists.

    I agree playing him next to RJ is ideal for him.

  19. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Steve Popper
    @StevePopper
    Hope the Knicks coaches and executives are watching Frank Ntilikina this morning.

  20. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Tommy Beer
    @TommyBeer
    It’s seems like Frank has been a under a spotlight in NY forever, but it’s important to remember the kid just celebrated 21st birthday last month.

    He’s younger than most of last year’s lottery picks, including Deandre Ayton, Miles Bridges, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, etc.

  21. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    @23

    I’m firmly on the RJ Barrret train for now.

    There are probably going to be issues with his shot and efficiency for a couple of years, but I’m fine with that as long as he’s working hard and making progress. He’s a good playmaker and rebounder for his position, good around the basket, and I think he has the body to eventually be a good defender. If he improves his shot over time and defends like I hope he will eventually, he could be REALLY good.

    We have some players I am very optimistic about, but I have no faith in management/coaching.

    Perry is not making the kind of GM level blunders Mills/Phil made or Mills made on his own, but I don’t agree with the way they value players and what they stress. I don’t think they are good “basketball” people. We could easily be WAY further along given what they were handed to start.

    I’m not one of those guys that will point to the 1 or 2 players they missed in the draft or that disappointed along the way (other than Knox over Bridges because they went against consensus to take the worse player). That happens to everyone. Some of this is a crapshoot. But some of the players they’ve brought in and played big minutes were clear head scratchers and mistakes that make it kind of obvious they don’t value players in a way I can agree with.

    I value defense and high IQ team play. That’s not what we are building here so far even though Barrett and Peyton will help the playmaking.

  22. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    I really wouldn’t be surprised if Frank Ntilikina started at the two slot for us on Day 1. For all of his warts on offense, he’s a tone setter defensively and I think that will show itself to be true in training camp.

  23. alsep73

    Barrett will and almost certainly should start at the 2, opposite either DSJ or Payton. But if Frank carries over this kind of play into training camp and the preseason, he should definitely be in the wing rotation, whether or not he ever gets to play point guard again. And I would definitely enjoy seeing a Frank/RJ backcourt on occasion.

  24. JK47

    I didn’t get to see any of the game but I’m tickled by the notion of Frank Ntilikina shutting down and embarrassing overrated Celtic Kemba Walker.

  25. DRed

    If you had something like Payton, Frank, RJ, Randle and Mitch the Knicks would have 4 guys who can pass on the floor at the same time for the first time in a long time. That lineup would also rebound really well. Frank’s inept offense would still be a big problem.

  26. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

    OHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!

    Weren’t we all basically like, “imagine Team USA losing to a team led by Ntilikina at the one”?

    I know we’re, for the most part, anxious to see when not if Frank gets moved. But if he plays anything like he has in this tournament, it would behoove the team to keep him. Imagine our defense spearheaded by Ntilikina, Morris, and MitchRob

    If he and DSJ can shoot a respectable 34% from 3, they should absolutely start in the backcourt. That is gonna create problems with Knox. Barrett is gonna play on the wings 11 times out of 10 over Knox. Unless of course, Knox can manage the 4…

  27. Hubert

    If you had something like Payton, Frank, RJ, Randle and Mitch the Knicks would have 4 guys who can pass on the floor at the same time for the first time in a long time.

    That is probably my favorite lineup combination. But I bet we see it for less that 100 minutes over 82 games.

    I’m a bit perturbed that they seem to want to go with big lineups featuring Barrett and 2 and Knox at 3.

  28. danvt

    First time I’ve ever been happy about a Team USA loss. Go Frank. I really hope the Knicks become the type of team that values and develops this type of player.

  29. bobneptune

    And also one of the surprises of the game was Frank Ntilikina. He not only played good defense but made some big shots down the stretch, scoring seven of his total 11 points in the last quarter.

    “He was clutch,” said Batum. “And that was a big turnaround for us. We lost our point guard (Thomas Heurtel) to injury during the preparation, and we needed him to have a big tournament. It’s something that will help him for the rest of his career. And this can be a big deal for him during next year, cause he is a great player”.

  30. bobneptune

    Tweet of the year…..

    Gerald Bourguet @GeraldBourguet
    about 1 hour ago
    Frank Ntilikina outscored Team USA 7-5 by himself over the final 7 minutes. Yeah, I’m guessing the big names will be back for the Olympics.

    reply retweet like

  31. Owen

    Someday academics will be writing papers about how a player as bad as Frank managed to obsess so many people.

    But good for him, the 7 minutes he played will probably be his reputation for a long time

  32. Grocer

    If you had something like Payton, Frank, RJ, Randle and Mitch the Knicks would have 4 guys who can pass on the floor at the same time for the first time in a long time. That lineup would also rebound really well. Frank’s inept offense would still be a big problem.

    Outside shooting in general seems like it’d be an issue.

  33. Knew Your Nicks

    I still remember many Greeks-bball-“connoisseurs-prophets” preaching 5-6 years ago that Giannis is gonna fail in the Nba cause he lacked the ability to make midrange/3p shots….
    Nailed it !

  34. d-mar

    So would you trade Frank for a 2nd round pick? A week ago I would have said categorically yes, but now I’m kind of intrigued to see if he somehow grew a set of balls over in China.

    Worst case, he sucks again this year and we get nothing for him. I’ll take that chance.

  35. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    @BobNeptune (from last thread)

    I just don’t understand why some here are more invested in the pristine status of their “opinions” than the success of the team they say they are rooting for….Kemba Walker had a shitty game, but I’m sure he had nothing to do with that either….This was probably the biggest game he ever played in his life and sacked up and played very well at crunch time. The guy is 21 fucking years old. Can someone let this guy marinate a little bit please.

    Let’s dial it down a bit. He played OK, not great. Saying it was the “biggest game he ever played” might be true to some extent, but it wasn’t in the NBA. It was big because France beat the US – no other reason. Kemba wasn’t great but Frank couldn’t stay in front of him, but who can? He was good defensively, not all-world. Gobert had more of an impact defensively than Frank. I agree about giving up on a kid. I’m in his camp but watching him and Mitchel on the floor at the same time was painful. Donovan is in a different class. Frank’s ceiling is probably lower than Mitchel’s floor.

    But why am I surprised…. 45% of this country is on their knees praying for a recession so the can get a certain someone out of the Oval Office.

    As for rooting for a recession, that would be idiotic. I admit to hating the SOB, but I like my 401K and my stocks to do well. He’s cost us all a lot of money because of his stupid ego. He hit NY/NJ middle class hard with the new tax laws (I personally got hit with a high 4-digit tax increase). He hurt my stocks several times with trade war tweets and it hurt worse because it was on expiring stock options that were winning big until he tweeted. I wish he would shut up and let the big boys run our economy until we oust his fat ass.

  36. TheClashFan

    So, we once had Olympic Melo, and now we have FIBA Frank!

    Mills is probably thrilled at Frank’s success this summer and hopes to renew talks with other teams to secure a 2nd round pick for him.
    :-)

    I’ve long said pick up his option and see if he can stay healthy and improve.

  37. chrisconley

    Brian Windhorst:
    “Of course people are going say it was a big upset because of who we are and what this team has done in the past over the years,” said Kemba Walker, an All-Star who was largely outplayed by Frank Ntilikina.

    Let the bidding war begin!

  38. thenamestsam

    Frank’s status is definitely going to be an interesting storyline to watch in camp at least. Divying up minutes was already going to present a fascinating dilemma for Fiz, and if Frank is more in the mix it only further complicates things. We have relatively few guys who I feel confident saying for sure are going to deserve to be in the rotation (Randle, Mitch, and Morris might really be the only 3 although some of the higher status young guys, e.g. RJ, will clearly be in the rotation no matter what), but on the other hand pretty much everybody on the roster seems like they could be in the rotation based on some theory of what we’re doing here.

    Are we still treating this year as developmental and emphasizing getting the young guys time? Are we trying to “compete” and playing the best 10 or 11 guys, even if that means a bunch of the younger guys see only very sporadic minutes? How are a bunch of newly signed free agents on short-term deals going to react if they’re not playing much? Not going to be easy for Fiz and the safest prediction on the board is that there’s going to be a metric ton of posts here carping about his rotations.

  39. KnickfaninNJ

    GoNYgo, Trump’s tweets can have such sn effect on the market that JP Morgan has created a Volfefe Index, which tracks the impact of Presidential tweets on interest rates.

  40. JK47

    If he and DSJ can shoot a respectable 34% from 3, they should absolutely start in the backcourt.

    Frank at 34% 3PT% is still a crummy offensive player, because he averages a FT attempt like once every 800 minutes and doesn’t get dunks/layups/bunnies because he’s allergic to the rim.

    He’s going to need to elevate his entire offensive game to stick in the NBA. I’m too lazy to do the math but if you took Frank’s first two seasons and upped his 3PT% to 34 you’d still have a way under .500 TS% player.

  41. TheClashFan

    I didn’t watch FIBA Frank play, so for those of you who did, is he playing the one? I’ve long agreed with those here that he needs to move to the wing to have a chance in the NBA. Sure, his D is good, but will he ever shoot well enough?

    However, are his PG skills looking better, or is this just a case of a guy having a solid game? Is he driving more, handling the ball better, etc.

  42. Bruno Almeida

    I’ve said this before, but people expecting the Celtics to be better this year with this group of players will be very surprised by the end of the year.

    Kemba looked just terrible, Tatum has been nothing special through the rest of the competition and Smart and Brown are just ok players. They’re the guys you’d want to be the best 4 players on their team, unless Hayward makes an unprecedented return to form.

    Nice to see Frank having a good game, if some of his issues are indeed mental, this game can have a positive impact going forward. If anything it should bolster his perception around the league and make him more tradeable if that eventually is the case.

  43. Knew Your Nicks

    Frank plays the one.
    His D looks solid but need to say that he’s not playing only man to man but also zoneD which is not permitted in the nba.
    His handling is solid too and his shooting stroke looks great.
    I wouldn’t say he’s ready to kick ass in the nba yet but he definitely looks improved.
    His drives look smooth, have rhythm and they’re very effective but they’re not many.
    His game yells: Tony Allen.

  44. bobneptune

    Frank plays the one.
    His D looks solid but need to say that he’s not playing only man to man but also

    zoneD which is not permitted in the nba.

    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fi.kym-cdn.com%2Fentries%2Ficons%2Foriginal%2F000%2F000%2F015%2Foreally.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fknowyourmeme.com%2Fmemes%2Fo-rly&docid=O38aRRXSKYwcZM&tbnid=dGt0PxGK88fjGM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwj2nuOowcnkAhVTTcAKHUhSD4gQMwhMKAAwAA..i&w=1920&h=1080&bih=591&biw=1344&q=o%20rly%20owl&ved=0ahUKEwj2nuOowcnkAhVTTcAKHUhSD4gQMwhMKAAwAA&iact=mrc&uact=8

  45. Farfa

    Well, I mean. Frank still sucks, but reputation is huge in this League. If by any chance France can advance to the final game and he has a goodish game there his value would be the highest since hitting that three pointer in the fourth quarter vs. Indiana in November 2017.

  46. Knew Your Nicks

    Judging by the box scores Frank is considered shit by numberjunkies.
    Watching the games tell a slightly different story.

  47. Hubert

    But good for him, the 7 minutes he played will probably be his reputation for a long time

    If we can get 1-2 2nd round picks for him after this tournament we should jump on the offer.

    And to be clear, I have always liked Frank. I think he’ll begin being a decent player around age 23/24. But we’re just going to bury him this year bc he’s not aggressive yet. We’re never going to be patient with him or work to give him confidence the way France is. He’s worthless to us.

  48. Knew Your Nicks

    Now why a guy who sucks in almost everything and his numbers yell ‘trash’ plays starter minutes as the Pg of a very talented & ambitious national team is one of the big unresolved mysteries of bball….

  49. JK47

    zoneD which is not permitted in the nba.

    Dude.

    Zone defense has been legal in the NBA for almost 20 years. If you “watched the games” as you so like to lecture everybody else about, you’d know the basic fucking rules.

    Stop hurting my brain.

  50. Bruno Almeida

    @58

    It actually is a “mystery” with a very easy answer. Thomas Heurtel, the French starting PG, who plays for Barcelona, suffered a big injury in training camp, leaving only Frank and Andrew Albicy as PGs on the roster. Albicy is very undersized and quite frankly also not very good, so Frank got the starting nod. DeColo, the other guard on the roster, is seen as a 2 guard by their coach and mostly backups Fournier and plays crunch time minutes with Fournier playing 3 and Batum at the 4 alongside Gobert.

  51. JK47

    Knew Your Knicks, this is a stats-based Knicks blog. It says it right in the title. See that thing up there at the top? Statistical analysis, humor, Knicks? We talk about stats here, this is kind of like the only place to do this on the internet. We don’t ONLY talk about stats, but it’s a core part of the discussion at the site.

    Maybe I can help steer you to a more appropriate discussion board:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/NYKnicks/

  52. Knew Your Nicks

    @59
    Allowed but Not exactly.
    The 3sec defensive rule says:
    Cut the crap and play man to man.
    Zone D is not spectacular.
    Nba preaches points.

  53. Knew Your Nicks

    @60
    Very easy indeed.
    You forgot that coach Collet was Frank’s ex coach in Strasbourg.
    Luck & PR !

  54. E

    One argument proffered around here by the pro-Frank contingent was that even if he didn’t turn out to be a big minutes guy, he’d still be a great guy to have around come playoff time when you needed big stops in big games and … well, we pretty much saw exactly that play out today.

  55. Knew Your Nicks

    @65
    Let me give it one more try:
    Frank played man to man D but also “ZoneD for over 3sec” in many parts of the games of fiba wc.

  56. Knew Your Nicks

    I’m not aware of these 2. Sorry…
    I always considered myself as the love child of horny Pan and Lady Justice….

  57. E

    Someone should say it, so I will — nothing sounds more “sports talk radio” to sophisticated NBA-following ears than the constant harping on “second round picks.” Second round picks have essentially zero value. They never drive any serious deals. They never kill any deals that would otherwise not be killed. They never get any significant deals from “no” to “yes.” They’re pure fodder. On draft night, they’re often given away. A three-day old bagel has more actual value.

    Yes, you can lookback the years of data and find some good or great second round picks, but their actual looking forward value on the NBA marketplace is the functional equivalent of zero. (It’s actually even worse — multiple second-round picks sum to zero. Julius Randle and three second-round picks won’t bring you back any more in return than Julius Randle himself will. The quintessence of sports talk radio is a caller saying something like “How about if we trade Julius Randle and Kevin Knox for Anthony Davis?” and then the host saying, “Are you crazy, that package will never bring you back Anthony Davis?!?” and then the caller says, “Well, how ’bout if we throw in a couple second round picks?” We’re probably nearing the millionth time this exact colloquy has transpired on the nation’s sports talk radio stations. )

    Trading Frank for a second-round pick is trading him for nothing.

  58. Anthony Bonner

    It would be nice if there was actual evidence that Frank was a defensive savant. Ten years ago, this article about Shane Battier in the New York Times explained how effective he was for team success despite his mediocre counting stats. The article mentions that he loved getting statistics about his opponents’ tendencies and shooting percentages on various plays / court locations before each game, and would use this information to maneuver his opponents into taking their least productive shots. Thus, he was a very productive player despite his unassuming box score output.

    If Frank is something like Shane Battier, great, but I’ll need to see the evidence.

  59. Grocer

    Let me give it one more try:
    Frank played man to man D but also “ZoneD for over 3sec” in many parts of the games of fiba wc.

    Come the fuck on. You can play a zone without racking up lane violations. NBA teams do this, the Knicks did it last year! Usually it’s a partial zone with the center playing man to man but seriously. Stop being weird.

  60. Grocer

    It would be nice if there was actual evidence that Frank was a defensive savant.

    He’s a very good on ball defender but it’s not that hard to isolate him, which kinda means he just forces teams into playing 4 on 4. This doesn’t seem like a huge handicap in practice. If he had teammates who were also good perimeter defenders he’d have more impact.

  61. Dink

    Tough to make the ‘2nd round picks are worthless’ argument when the Knicks best player was picked in the 2nd round just last year.

    The Knicks have a somewhat solid track record with 2nd rounders the past couple drafts. If anything, they should be trying to get more of them. Especially if acquiring them is as easy as ‘E’ claims.

  62. JK47

    The allure of Frank is that he would appear to be a good switchable defender: quick enough to hang with speedy point guards but big enough and long enough to guard bigger wings. That IS a valuable commodity. I think his status as “savant” is overstated.

    The thing is though, the advent of switchable defenders has made defense-only players sort of irrelevant. The Bucks played great defense last year because they executed that switchable defense thing so well, but their wings who were good at switching were solid two-way players. They weren’t running anybody out there with a .425 TS% like our boy Frankie here. Versatility is key in today’s NBA. Frank does not appear to have that kind of versatility.

  63. Bruno Almeida

    Yeah, and there’s even plenty of other success 2nd rounders around, like Draymond, Manu, Jokic, Beverley, Isaiah Thomas, Dragic, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, etc… its obviously a crap shoot most of the times, but there’s definitely value, and even sometimes if you’re lucky superstar value, to be found in the 2nd round.

  64. danvt

    We know that, in the NBA you are who you are from the jump, most of the time. Magic and Larry hit the ground running. It didn’t take three seasons. So, I realize I should slow my role with the giddy optimism. Still that’s an unexpectedly fun result and as Knick fans why not be happy about it? I hope the kid kicks ass in the tournament and develops into a player worthy of his selection number. Just because we haven’t seen many Knicks improve in the last couple of decades doesn’t mean it’s impossible and Frank has a style of play that supports the collective and that we all appreciate. So, as a fan I’ll root for him.

  65. Knew Your Nicks

    The Nba teams are Sooo good at Zone D that almost got fucked by the Turkish team and lost by 10 by the French team.
    Zone to the bone !

  66. Knew Your Nicks

    All im saying is that Nba is clueless about zone d.
    Nba allows “pseudo zone”.
    Not even Popovich could handle it…

  67. Hubert

    One argument proffered around here by the pro-Frank contingent was that even if he didn’t turn out to be a big minutes guy, he’d still be a great guy to have around come playoff time when you needed big stops in big games

    This is ironic bc there have been literally 2,000,000 Frank arguments proffered around here and I don’t ever remember reading this one.

  68. Hubert

    Someone should say it, so I will — nothing sounds more “sports talk radio” to sophisticated NBA-following ears than the constant harping on “second round picks.” Second round picks have essentially zero value. They never drive any serious deals. They never kill any deals that would otherwise not be killed. They never get any significant deals from “no” to “yes.” They’re pure fodder. On draft night, they’re often given away. A three-day old bagel has more actual valué .

    So… what does it mean that we were unable to get a 2nd round pick for Frank?

  69. Hubert

    The allure of Frank is that he would appear to be a good switchable defender: quick enough to hang with speedy point guards but big enough and long enough to guard bigger wings. That IS a valuable commodity. I think his status as “savant” is overstated.

    I think the allure of Frank is he can disrupt the most important play in the game at an elite rate, arguably better than anyone in the league. That’s a helluva weapon to have if you can deploy it.

    I also don’t think it’s as easy to neutralize him as y’all make it seem. Switching isn’t mandatory. You can just tell Frank not to peel off the primary ball handler.

    Or just have him guard an area, since most PnR are in the center of the court. If you can force a team into doing side PnR action instead of being able to initiate it at the top of the key, you’ve already won something major in the possession

  70. ptmilo

    i think frank’s a plus defender but you have to be careful taking much if any information from synergy pnr defensive ppp numbers for all the obvious reasons. do you know who the best pnr guard with at least 100 possession defended was in 18-19? kyrie. other guards finishing “better” than frank included defensive stalwarts devin booker, goran dragic, tyreke evans, marco belinelli, jeff teague, terrance ross, james harden and seth curry.

    the year before frank’s rookie year the four best 100 poss pnr synergy guards in the league were…jj redick, ben mclemore, jj barea and eric gordon.

    it’s tempting to lend more credence to the reliability of evidence when it fits your prior but that doesn’t actually make the evidence itself any more reliable.

  71. geo

    One argument proffered around here by the pro-Frank contingent was that even if he didn’t turn out to be a big minutes guy, he’d still be a great guy to have around come playoff time when you needed big stops in big games and … well, we pretty much saw exactly that play out today.

    finally people are starting to listen to me…for how many years have i been telling everyone that frank is the exact missing piece to our championship run…

    looks like i’m finally vindicated and due my due…

    hmmmm, now if we can only find 10 or 12 other championship level players, along with frank, to fill out our roster…

  72. BigBlueAL

    This has been and will always be my problem with Frank, he was the 8th pick in the draft. His strongest supporters talk about what a great role player he could become if he was surrounded by great players and in a good system. That’s something you hope for if you were picking in the mid to late 20’s and are already a championship caliber team looking for solid role players to fill out the roster. The Knicks are desperate for elite level talent and wasting the 8th pick of the draft on a potential future decent 3 and D guy is a huge problem and is one of the reasons this franchise is where it is right now.

  73. Hubert

    i think frank’s a plus defender but you have to be careful taking much if any information from synergy pnr defensive ppp numbers for all the obvious reasons. do you know who the best pnr guard with at least 100 possession defended was in 18-19? kyrie. other guards finishing “better” than frank included defensive stalwarts devin booker, goran dragic, tyreke evans, marco belinelli, jeff teague, terrance ross, james harden and seth curry.

    the year before frank’s rookie year the four best 100 poss pnr synergy guards in the league were…jj redick, ben mclemore, jj barea and eric gordon.

    it’s tempting to lend more credence to the reliability of evidence when it fits your prior but that doesn’t actually make the evidence itself any more reliable.

    That was sobering.

  74. d-mar

    I’m hoping (probably against hope) that Frank grew up a little in this FIBA tournament. He always had that “deer in the headlights” look when he was on offense for the Knicks, never sure what to do, never forcing his man to defend him, never drawing fouls.

    Maybe now he’s gained a little confidence and will stop doing his usual “bring the ball up, pick up your dribble and pass laterally to a man 35 feet from the basket”

    Like I said, hoping……

  75. dtrickey

    I’m hoping (probably against hope) that Frank grew up a little in this FIBA tournament. He always had that “deer in the headlights” look when he was on offense for the Knicks, never sure what to do, never forcing his man to defend him, never drawing fouls.

    Maybe now he’s gained a little confidence and will stop doing his usual “bring the ball up, pick up your dribble and pass laterally to a man 35 feet from the basket”

    Like I said, hoping……

    His FIBA stats support the proposition he has had a pretty pedestrian tournament, but the few French games I have seen the one obvious improvement is he is not picking up his dribble unnecessarily and does look slightly more aggressive (albeit at a glacial pace). That being said, he still is definitely not aggressive enough considering he has averaged 1.2 FT per game for the tournament. Against some of the Defences he has faced in the tournament, this stat really needed to be higher if there was going to be any indication he was a new Frank.

    He is also ranked 76th in the tournament for assists per game (tied with Andrew Bogut). Given the opportunities feeding Gobert in the post, I think his assist rate should be a tick higher than the 2.7 he his averaging a game at the moment.

  76. dtrickey

    Also, not to rub salt in the wounds of our US brothers and sisters, but the hot takes and excuses on Twitter for the loss have been entertaining.

  77. Z-man

    The main thing about Frank is that he’s healthy. He was pretty gimpy for most of last season. He should get a real good look during preseason. Off the ball, hopefully.

  78. TheClashFan

    The English teacher in me just shakes my head in sadness whenever I read that certain draft picks are “worthlesss.” Please look the word up before using it. Every time a team makes or trades a pick, they are illustrating that it has value. Some team might use one to trade for Frank. And the Knicks can then use it to get an exclusive look at a player for a time. That has value, even if such player is not very likely to end up good. As someone already noted, the Knicks got Mitch with a 2nd rounder.

    Recently on a Jets board I frequent, the Jets traded 7th round pick for G Alex Lewis. In the ensuing thread, one guy said he was okay with using the pick since they are worthless. Uh, the trade just proved him wrong. For the Jets, that pick was worth G Alex Lewis, who is now on the team.

    If picks were worthless, I think we’d seem more teams Pass rather than actually try out players…
    :-)

  79. bobneptune

    The Bucks played great defense last year because they executed that switchable defense thing so well, but their wings who were good at switching were solid two-way players. They weren’t running anybody out there with a .425 TS% like our boy Frankie here. Versatility is key in today’s NBA. Frank does not appear to have that kind of versatility.

    Fair point but the Bucks weren’t running anyone under 26 out there in their top 8 guys for major minutes except Giannis (24). If Frank’s TS % is .425 in 2025 then your analogy would be germane to the discussion.

    The point being the Knicks drafted Frank in an embryonic stage in his development to run a specific offense in a specific limited way and that leadership was willing to wait for a more well rounded offensive skill set to develop. He was drafted to be Dennis Johnson not Isiah Thomas. Give the bloody man a chance to shave a few times at least.

  80. Frank

    here’s the argument for Frank-
    he can legit guard 1 through 4 in the NBA. In fact, he guarded Kemba really well in the 4th quarter just as Kemba was trying to do his superhero thing, then basically stoned Harrison Barnes, an actual NBA 3/4 player, in the post during the same portion of the game. He’s given Kyrie fits when guarding him. Trae Young couldn’t even dribble the ball against him. The only 2 players that he looked like he couldn’t guard well at the point of attack were Westbrook and Wall, and, well, that pretty much applies to any PG in the league. So while the league has gone to switchable players, players who are actually an asset regardless of who they’re switched onto are still really valuable. Good luck to any team that tries to get a switch on Frank + Mitch.

    Guarding the point of attack is the thing the Knicks haven’t had in literally forever. Correlated with this is the Knicks haven’t had a good defense in basically forever. I think DSJ is an ok defender, but I sure would feel better in a big spot if we had Frank + Mitch in the game.

    The big questions with Frank are: 1) can he be a 35% 3 point shooter; and 2) who is he best playing with? Theoretically speaking, if Frank can shoot 35%, he’d be a great fit next to RJ, much like Mario Chalmers was a great fit next to LBJ/Wade. In fact, a bigger Mario Chalmers would be a really nice 90+% percentile outcome for him — an important contributor on a contending team.

  81. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    well, that solves it — Frank played kinda good in a FIBA game, definitely an NBA player now

  82. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    @100

    I co-sign on that entire post.

    I’ll just add that he also gave Harden FITS!

    A great basketball team does not need 5 scorers on the court. It needs 2-3 high level/elite scorers. The other players only have to command enough respect that you have to guard them. You want those other players to be elite at OTHER things to maximize the TEAM output otherwise you wind up creating diminishing returns on the scoring and lack other things.

    Of course, you can argue we don’t have the scorers yet (especially with KP gone), but that’s a separate issue. Maybe Barrett will become one of those players in 2-3 years and maybe Randle will be able to extend his game on a high level also. That’s a worry for another day.

    Guys like Frank and Robinson can be the perfect complimentary pieces on a team with enough scoring talent. They can have a HUGE IMPACT on the game even if they have a limited tool kit on offense by taking away the opposing team’s primary weapons and disrupting their offense.

    If people want to argue that Frank’s offense still has a long way to go to be at the level it needs to get (consistent 3 pointer) , that’s a legitimate observation. To not understand his potential value and not see the progress he finally seems to be making when finally healthy is simply basketball ignorance.

  83. Frank

    well, that solves it — Frank played kinda good in a FIBA game, definitely an NBA player now

    sure it’s a small sample, but it 118 FIBA minutes so far he’s shot 47% from the floor, 41% from 3, has averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2.4 steals per 36 (he’s playing about 20 min/game). He’s a +53 in 118 minutes played. At least it’s a positive step.

  84. Frank

    I guess my point is that in the past, we’ve had to couch any positive spin on Frank’s game in the “he does things that don’t show up in the box score” way — now at least in 118 minutes, he’s doing the stuff that doesn’t show up in the box score AND he’s putting together a reasonable box score to boot.

    I just think on a team with a bunch of shoot-first no-defense players, he needs to play 15-20 minutes/game. Unfortunately we need to make a call on his 4th year option before the season even starts. I hope Mills and Perry have enough foresight to know that that cap $ amount is not enough to throw away control of him for another year. We have tons of cap flexibility and the free agent class sucks anyway.

  85. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Boxscores contain a lot of useful information, but they don’t contain defense and other important skills. They also can’t measure the impact your role, teammates, and the system you play in have on your stats. Finally, they can’t measure how players fit together to maximize output.

    If the opposing team has a player that averages 23 PPG, a 57% TS%, and 6 assists and you hold him to 18 points, 50% TS, and 4 assists you are pretty much in contention for MVP of the night even if your own boxscore says 8 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists. The fact that you didn’t score much is almost meaningless on a properly constructed team. A properly constructed team will still get its shots and be efficient. However, your contribution on defense is having a huge impact on the final score of the other team because you are making their key player and the team overall less efficient by several points.

    When a guy like Frank puts Kemba in prison, it’s having a monstrous impact that far outweighs whether he scores 8 points per 36 or 15 points per 36. He just has to keep the 8 efficient enough to earn the respect of the opposing defense. That’s what he’s doing in FIBA.

    It’s not abut the boxscore. It’s about skills and fitting them together properly.

  86. Early Bird

    He’s a +53 in 118 minutes

    Frank is also a -1 against teams not named Jordan and the Dominican Republic.

  87. Hubert

    Frank is a long term project. He always was, despite how high he was drafted. Most college basketball players are like AA prospects in baseball. Most lottery picks are AAA level. Frank was a single A player when we took him. Single A players need patience and need to be developed. They will also look terrible if you throw them in the majors.

    This FIBA tournament doesn’t prove Frank belongs in the NBA, but it does demonstrate that handling Frank like he needs to be handled can lead to better performance. If we don’t want to treat him with kid gloves and build up his confidence, then just get rid of him off the heels of this tournament. If he comes back and you’re going to bench him every time he’s hesitant, he’ll go right back to being the bum he’s been.

  88. Owen

    The other thing I loved about that Kobe photo is how miserable all the girls look on his team.

    I do look forward to Fritch playing defense. They could legitimately create some havoc.

  89. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Finally, they can’t measure how players fit together to maximize output.

    Except, you know, that whole “final score” thing.

  90. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    If they are smart enough to keep Frank, I hope they play him in combination with Robinson a lot. One of the reason the KP/Frank combination often looked good was that Frank could be more aggressive defensively with KP behind him than with a guy like Kanter. You can give the opposing player less space and gamble a little more on defense going for steals with a rim protector like Gobert, KP, or Robinson behind you even if you will get beat a little more often. You can’t make that tradeoff with Kanter.

  91. bobneptune

    well, that solves it — Frank played kinda good in a FIBA game, definitely an NBA player now

    He played better than kinda good against a FIBA team that was comprised of well above average NBA pros…. Just tell the truth even if it doesn’t fit you particularly staked out narrative.

    None of this obviates anything other than it is possible for a BB player to improve greatly under competent management form his 20 to 21 year old season.

    Not to worry… it will take Fiz and Co. about 42 seconds to crush his newfound comfort by yo-yo ing him all over the place.

  92. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Except, you know, that whole “final score” thing.

    The whole point of fitting players together properly is to maximize the “team output” on both sides of the ball (the score).

    On a net basis, player X may be a better player than player Y, but player Y’s skill set may produce greater team output with players A, B, C, and D than player X does.

    Maybe player Y’s skills compliment what they are missing while player X offers more of the same of what they already have in abundance on the court and simply creates diminishing returns.

  93. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Frank is also a -1 against teams not named Jordan and the Dominican Republic.

    And the game turned the moment he was put in down the stretch specifically because he locked down one of the best offensive players in the NBA on defense and scored key baskets under pressure.

  94. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Not to worry… it will take Fiz and Co. about 42 seconds to crush his newfound comfort by yo-yo ing him all over the place.

    Yes, the idiot factor will be huge in his development, which is why he may still be better off somewhere else. They don’t understand the high level role player they have, don’t value it properly, and could damage it further than they already have.

  95. thenamestsam

    I want Frank to succeed as much as the next guy but there’s a strong “Frank cannot fail, he can only be failed” tone to a lot of the comments here. I sincerely hope that Fiz & Co. continue to treat this team as being primarily in rebuilding mode and emphasize giving minutes to the younger guys, but whatever we may think of Frank’s potential to evolve into a useful and maybe even quite good role player, he has been indisputably awful to this point in his NBA career.

    FIBA may be the start of a breakout, or it may be that sometimes even very bad NBA players can string together 120 respectable minutes against mostly very weak competition. I really hope the coaching staff gives Frank a chance to show whether he has made some real strides, but if he continues to perform at the levels he has shown so far in the NBA and gets benched, I’m not sure it’s fair to the coaching staff to call it “jerking him around”. Guys performing at worst in the league type levels tend to find themselves out of the rotation.

  96. KnickfaninNJ

    scored key baskets under pressure.

    As far as I recall, Frank has never done this before. In the past he was too indecisive in taking shots and also missed too many of them to have a chance at hitting key baskets at key moments when he’s actually defended. He won’t do this every night, but i consider just showing he can do it in one game is significant progress.

  97. swiftandabundant

    Its OK to acknowledge that Frank has played well in FIBA and came up big the other day in what was definitely the biggest game of his career. It doesn’t mean you’re wrong about the pick being bad or about the probability of his future. Give the kid his props. 7 points in the last half of the 4th quarter with good defense to help turn the game around is a good showing for him. He does look stronger, more confident, and is shooting better. I hope he takes this into camp and can prove us wrong. Even Frank turning into a decent bench option for us would be huge for the progress of this team. Frank and Mitch on the court together is the start of a good defense.

    And let’s also acknowledge something else. +/- wise he’s been the top Knick the last 2 seasons. I know that isn’t really a stat and there are a lot of variables with +/- but when its over 2 seasons playing with the garbage players we’ve had…its gotta mean something. He could be a case where his own stats aren’t going to be good but he makes his teammates better.

    I’d love to see Frank, RJ, Knox, Randle, Mitch or Peyton, RJ, Frank, Randle, Mitch

    The rotations on this team are going to be VERY interesting.

  98. JK47

    I don’t know if there’s an argument I find more irritating than “If Frank shoots threes at 35% he’ll be a passable offensive player.”

    Frank was 33 for 115 on threes last year. Let’s say everything else stays the same, but he made 8 more of those 3PT attempts. Now he’s at .356. Is he a decent offensive player now? NO. He’s still only shooting .370 on 2-pointers, he has still converted only 23 free throws in 900+ minutes and he has still only dunked the ball twice.

    He’s not just *thisclose* to being a reasonable two way player. He’s horrifically bad on offense and a slight bump in 3PT% is not going to fix that.

  99. swiftandabundant

    I really don’t agree with that take on Fizdale. Frank was hurt A LOT of last season. We have no idea what his minutes would have looked like post KP trade. We did get DSJ in that trade but we sent out Hardaway and Burke, so more minutes would have been on the table for him if he’d been healthy. But he wasn’t.

  100. Donnie Walsh

    Frank is a long term project. He always was, despite how high he was drafted. Most college basketball players are like AA prospects in baseball. Most lottery picks are AAA level. Frank was a single A player when we took him. Single A players need patience and need to be developed. They will also look terrible if you throw them in the majors.

    This seems like a pretty good analogy. But in baseball, the salary structure is so different, and minor league development doesn’t count toward service when calculating when players are due for significant pay raises. This is why the single A equivalent prospects really, really, really shouldn’t be drafted in the NBA lottery. Because by the time they mature, they are pretty much priced out of staying with the teams that drafted them.

    Baseball also has much looser roster restrictions within an organization, which allows teams to have more control over when players are due to get paid. In the NBA, roster spots are a scarce resource. Teams simply can’t (or at least don’t) invest long term in players. There are no examples that come to mind of players that mature after year four doing it with the team that drafted them.

  101. ptmilo

    And let’s also acknowledge something else. +/- wise he’s been the top Knick the last 2 seasons. I know that isn’t really a stat and there are a lot of variables with +/- but when its over 2 seasons playing with the garbage players we’ve had…its gotta mean something.

    this is a tempting conclusion, but it’s provably wrong that “its gotta mean something” or even that it very likely means something. the variation inherent in on/off data (what this is means really is how much the data can be bounced around by completely noisy factors) is so fucking enormous that it is unfortunately impossible to learn much of anything from 2600 minutes. for example look at these four players on/off over those two years:

    ………..MP …..net diff/100
    Frank 2610 …..1.78
    Dotson 2478 …..1.81
    Burke 1474…..3.14
    Jack 1578…..4.4

    can we tell much of anything about those players from that list wisp of data?

  102. Hubert

    I completely agree that Frank should never have been a lottery pick. I just don’t think that should be a factor in how we develop it. The Knicks’ attitude is “we drafted you in the lottery, play like a lottery pick.” That’s just stubborn and short sighted.

  103. Donnie Walsh

    (To answer my own quasi-question posed in #121):

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s extension with Charlotte is an example of a team investing long term in a player that was drafted on physical potential, showed lock-down defensive ability, but hadn’t yet become the player they envisioned. They rolled the dice and gave him an extension. He just exercised his players option this summer, probably to the chagrin of management, who would probably have preferred he opt out and sign with the Knicks this summer, like a few other lottery picks who took too long to develop and their drafting teams decided not to pull a Charlotte and double down: namely Elfrid Payton, Julius Randle, and Noah Vonleh.

  104. bobneptune

    I want Frank to succeed as much as the next guy but there’s a strong “Frank cannot fail, he can only be failed” tone to a lot of the comments here.

    I really hope the coaching staff gives Frank a chance to show whether he has made some real strides, but if he continues to perform at the levels he has shown so far in the NBA and gets benched, I’m not sure it’s fair to the coaching staff to call it “jerking him around”. Guys performing at worst in the league type levels tend to find themselves out of the rotation.

    My “jerking him around” comment was supposed to mean precisely this… the coaching staff and management had no business when they were in the middle of a tanking season to give Frank 4 consecutive DNP-CD’s while force feeding unlimited minutes to Mudiay who was 29 months older and they had zero control over after unwisely burning a perfectly good second round pick on.

  105. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    What’s it called when you ignore 2400 minutes of NBA play and instead focus on 80 minutes of FIBA play to illustrate your point?

  106. Hubert

    What is it called when you act like 2400 minutes of NBA play acquired before a player turned 21 is definitive data?

  107. ptmilo

    we can at least agree that once you learn the pistons cut michael beasley to sign joe johnson you have all the data you need to fully understand the pistons

  108. KnickfaninNJ

    Per RealGM,

    The New York Knicks have signed four undrafted rookies to contracts.

    Amir Hinton, Kenny Wooten, V.J. King and Lamar Peters will be on the Knicks’ training camp roster.

  109. KnickfaninNJ

    And .Jowles, if you assume that players never improve, then a few minutes of FIBA time don’t count for much. Most of us don’t assume that, however, especially for twenty one year olds, so those minutes matter to us.

  110. Dink

    I want Frank to succeed as much as the next guy but there’s a strong “Frank cannot fail, he can only be failed” tone to a lot of the comments here.

    This 100%. It feels like some of the Frank optimists are just covering their own asses in the likely event that he’ll never be a good NBA player.

    Frank’s biggest issues at the moment are his terrible shooting, lack of ball handling skills, lack of burst + quickness, and god-awful rebounding. Some posters here would have you believe that a good system or a coach like Popovich would somehow negate all this.

    It’s just a fantasy for the Frank pollyannas.

  111. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    And .Jowles, if you assume that players never improve, then a few minutes of FIBA time don’t count for much. Most of us don’t assume that, however, especially for twenty one year olds, so those minutes matter to us.

    I would be blind and illiterate to suggest such a thing. When his numbers are continuing to be total shit through Christmas, are you willing to accept that a small FIBA sample is probably not representative of much?

  112. DRed

    Frank averaged 4.7 rebounds per 48 minutes last season and the average point guard grabbed 5.2. It’s disappointing someone Frank’s size isn’t a plus for the position as a rebounder, but in terms of Frank’s overall productivity it’s maybe his least significant weakness. His ball handling, shooting and ability to draw fouls are much more important.

  113. DRed

    We have an open 2 way contract, I think. I’d give Wooten a shot based on college. He can absolutely block shots in the NBA. Hinton played DII ball, Peters is tiny and can’t shoot and VJ wasn’t even a good college player. Maybe Hinton is worth trying to develop, but Peters and VJ are wastes of time.

  114. Hubert

    Frank’s data is poor. It could be poor because he can never play in the NBA. Or it could be poor because he was playing in the NBA at ages when he wasn’t ready to. It is impossible to confidently determine which factor it’s most attributable to.

  115. Hubert

    And, of course, it could be poor because he wasn’t ready to play in the NBA *and* he is being forced to play a style that he’s not built for by an incompetent coach who openly disdains european players and their style of play.

    There’s a lot going on with Frank. That’s why the only reasonable conclusion I see is “be patient.”

  116. Dink

    I stand corrected on Frank’s rebounding stats. Should’ve said sub-optimal instead of god-awful.

    Dude is 6’6″ in a league where the average PG is 6’2″ though. He should be grabbing more boards!

    (got the height #’s from wikipedia. 6’2″ feels a little low but I’m going with it)

  117. Henry George

    Except, you know, that whole “final score” thing.

    That same argument could be made for Frank’s strong +/- numbers.

  118. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    What is it called when you act like 2400 minutes of NBA play acquired before a player turned 21 is definitive data?

    Am I the one making dispositive claims about Frank’s development/ceiling on the back of a tiny ass sample in a completely different league? No? Not me? haha ok

  119. Hubert

    This may or may not be a fascinating alternative to another Frank discussion, but this (rather bland) article got me thinking who I want to represent the US going forward.

    https://www.theringer.com/nba/2019/9/12/20861645/team-usa-next-generation-zion-williamson-world-cup

    Tjarks identifies four locks, according to him: Zion, Trae, JJJ, and Devin Booker. Not sure I agree with that last one. Let’s assume you can’t change the minds of Harden and AD, and guys like Lillard and Beal who withdrew remain uninterested. Who would you build the team around?

    Young seems perfect for international play and definitely holds down the starting PG for me. I think backing him up would be either Ja Morant or De’Aron Fox.

    Donovan Mitchell played really well for Team USA. I’d look to him and Jamal Murray at the 2.

    While the backcourt is easy to cast, it’s tough to find a big wing I like. Tatum and Brown can fuck off.

    JJJ is going to be a stud. Is he a Center in international ball? Or are we looking at Wendall Carter, Jarrett Allen, and Mitchell Robinson to play the 5?

    Marvin Bagley would be on the team, too.

  120. JK47

    This Mets team can hit. They can run some deadly lineups out there. Catching and throwing isn’t really their thing, but they can mash. Even Robinson Cano’s bum ass has been mashing.

    If they made the playoffs they probably wouldn’t fare that well because sheesh that bullpen, but it’s been a fun season.

  121. Donnie Walsh

    There were two lottery picks from the 2016 draft class that were teenagers drafted primarily for their athletic ability and physical potential: Mario Hezonja and Stanley Johnson. Like Frank, both were bad their rookie seasons and managed to play even worse their second seasons. By year three they both finally showed some improvement, but in year four, they both regressed. Both were good at defense. Neither one had their 3rd year options picked up, and both are clinging to the league as roster filler.

    Stanley Johnson, always strong on defense, improved in his third year offensively by finishing at the rim better and by taking more free throws. Frank Ntilikina would have to improve in year three significantly, just to get to where Stanley Johnson was after his third year. And. Even still, Johnson regressed again in season four and the Pistons never regretted not picking up his contract. Same with Hezonja.

    So, I guess the question is: what kind of a leap would it take from Ntilikina this season to make the Knicks regret declining his option. (Has there ever been a 4th year option that was declined and subsequently regretted?)

  122. JK47

    @147

    +1

    This is why the “Frank just needs to shoot 35% from three” thing is so annoying to me. He’s real far away from competent, even if he could hit 35% of his threes. He’d need to bump up his 3PT volume, figure out some way to average more than one free throw made per 36 minutes and learn how to convert at the rim at a non-pathetic rate. There aren’t enough 35% three point attempts that can make up for all of that other stuff.

  123. dtrickey

    @142 that is an interesting proposition and based on Colangelo’s comments, I don;t think some of the guys who dropped out will be automatic starts for Tokyo next year.

    Looking at the US, best bet is to start fresh and get guys on the roster who are likely to be playing the next 3 or so Olympics/World Cups. A massive advantage most non-US teams have is that they have been consistently playing for their national teams since they were teenagers. Using Australia for example, Mills, Ingles, Bogut have been in the same team every tournament since at least 08. Baynes and Delly since 2010. That is a fair chunk of your main contributors consistently fronting up for tournaments in the off-season and developing chemistry.

  124. Donnie Walsh

    Lottery picks that have had their 4th year options declined:

    Joe Alexander
    Earl Clark
    Terrance Williams
    Jordan Hill
    Johnny Flynn
    Hasheem Thabeet
    Xavier Henry
    Cole Aldrich
    Al-Farouq Aminu
    Wesley Johnson
    Jammer Fredette
    Jan Vesley
    Kendall Marshall
    Austin Rivers
    Thomas Robinson
    Anthony Bennet
    Mario Hezonja
    Jahlil Okafor
    Dragan Bender
    Marquis Chriss

    None of them have turned into anything noteworthy (only Aminu turned into a useful player to a decent team), and all of them were demonstrably better at basketball than Frank Ntilikina in their first two years.

    (*also note the disproportionate number of #8 picks on the list)

  125. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    @147 & 148
    That’s where I’m at with Frank. Thing is, I think he’s an NBA player but not worth the 4th year option and it’ll take amazing change to get it. Also, based on the current roster, I really doubt he’ll have the opportunity to showcase that. The back court is pretty crowded. He’ll be lucky to get 10 minutes per game on the court. Now is the time that he should be showcasing his game. If he really wanted to show us something, he would be putting up Patty Mills numbers, like below. I just pulled out the 3-pt lines for he and Mills but as you say JK47, his shot volume makes him insignificant even though his 3p% is better than Mills. I think the reason for that has to do with his inability to create his own shot, his lack of aggressiveness (he needs to drive into the lane) both of which are a by-product of a poor handle for a point guard.

    These are his FIBA numbers. I wish that there was some way to do pre-formated output . Let’s try this….

    Rank—–Player Name (Tm)———GP—-PPG—–3PMPG—–3PAPG—–3PM—–3PA—–3P%
    #22——Frank Ntilikina (FRA)—–6——7.7———1.2———-2.8———-7———-17—–41.2
    #23——Patty Mills (AUS)———-6—–22.2——–2.8———-7.0———-17———42—–40.5

  126. Z-man

    Weird to be in the position of defending Frank, but I think posts @147, @148 and @150 are built on certain assumptions that don’t necessarily apply to Frank. Each of those guys had a fatal flaw that made him a negative player by definition. Frank is certainly going to be a plus defender and has some aptitude on offense if he is employed correctly (read: not at PG, ever.)

    His driving and finishing is not going to stay where it was, and he certainly looks like a guy who can hit 3’s at a decent clip at reasonable volume, so long as he stays off the ball. He also has a bit of a pick and pop game. His rebounding should also improve somewhat if he is coached properly.

    What I like is that he has no chance of displacing either DSjr or Payton, i.e. he HAS to be played off the ball this season. As much as I’ve criticized the pick and his game, they should give him a good, long look this season, especially to see if he can stay healthy (a big problem for him.) His option will almost certainly be picked up, and that would make @150 moot. He was drafted younger than nearly all of those guys, so it’s really not useful to think of him as a 3rd year player.

  127. swiftandabundant

    I know this is an imperfect analogy and I will probably get killed for it.

    But if you had a business that was doing poorly its first few years but you were plugging away at it every day trying to get it off the ground. Maybe you had some bad luck or made some poor decisions. Maybe you were in over your head when you started out. But you kept plugging away and learning everything you could about that business.

    Then one day for a few weeks, all of sudden you saw an uptick in sales. Nothing huge but it was significant for you compared to what you had done previously and it wasn’t just one fluke sale but lets say several weeks of decent improvement.

    Would you give up on your business because the sample size before that was too large and there’s no way the uptick could be indicative of real progress? Or would you keep going and working hard in the hopes that it was a sign of better times ahead.

    This is how I feel about the stat heads who just point to stats and sample size and previous achievement, list previous players who were busts and say “yup. there’s no hope for frank and him playing in FIBA means nothing bc the sample size is small.”

    Sure. That could be the case. But maybe he’s learning and this is the start of real improvement for him. He’s still super young and you could chalk up his second year being worse than his first to injuries. It played a part in it at a least. He stays healthy, has better teammates, is more comfortable, improved his handle and shooting…who knows.

  128. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I think the Knicks should pick up all four of Frank’s years. There is no immediate path to contention, so you let him develop to see where he’s at. And if you start getting 5/9 3PT games out of him while he locks down the opposing primary scorer, you lock him down before anyone notices.

    But don’t sit here and tell me that this borderline NBGL 12th man is a legit NBA player for a future contender because of some anecdotally-good games in FIBA. That’s not right and I won’t have it.

    If after 30 games he’s scoring .500 TS% and playing All-NBA defense, I will completely dismiss the past two seasons. I’m not going to do that for FIBA minutes.

  129. Bruno Almeida

    @153

    Yes, unfortunately I think your analogy doesn’t work because it lacks the most crucial part of it: opportunity cost.

    If all you have is your business, and all your money is invested in it, you keep it of course and try to do something about it. That’s not how the NBA works, as there’s always chances to get other players in place of Ntilikina.

    So the most closely related analogy would be, you have the business you described, but you still have assets to go for other stuff on the side, or to clear it up and go for something else entirely. This is the case of the Knicks with Ntilikina, he’s not the only player we could have getting those minutes and getting his salary. There’s an opportunity cost for keeping a player who’s terrible on the idea that he might one day be good, which is paying him a salary and keeping a roster spot filled.

    Nobody is saying to release the guy right now, nobody ever did. But if you can trade him for something with more expected value than he has, it should be done, and if he doesn’t show real, sustained improvement over this next period, he should be gone too.

    So the analogy should be like, you have a bunch of businesses, some are good, some are terrible, and then there’s the Ntilikina business which you love and think can progress, but its not. Then you do the sensible thing: keep it for a while and see if it turns out good, if it doesn’t, cut ties with it and go for something else.

  130. Knew Your Nicks

    The exciting fact for me from the 7/17 3pt shots is that all 17 shots looked smooth & curvy. No bricks in here.
    As for his heavily criticized/trashed ballhandling, i imagine that being trusted by his coach as the main ballhandler against the US TEAM means something…

  131. Donnie Walsh

    I know this is an imperfect analogy and I will probably get killed for it.

    I’m not going to kill you for it, but I am going to try to perfect it for you:

    Let’s say when you start your business it’s the worst business that’s ever been started. And then you plug away at it for a year, and it doesn’t get better, in fact it gets worse. And, on top of that, there is a socialized government in your country that tells you you have to pay all sorts of taxes and minimum wages and also has a rule that after 4 years of business you need to decide whether to marry yourself to the business long term, or simply turn it in and take somebody else’s business from them.

    I’m not saying it would be wrong to keep your business, but you’d better be pretty sure about that little three week spike in sales, because many, many, many competing businesses have been duped by that and ended up with $30,000,000 Jerome James businesses. Just saying.

  132. Z-man

    If after 30 games he’s scoring .500 TS% and playing All-NBA defense, I will completely dismiss the past two seasons. I’m not going to do that for FIBA minutes.

    Agreed. However, it was important to show at least something in FIBA and he did. There’s no disputing that. Again (i’ve said it a million times, why not one more?) the question right now is, did he suck because he was drafted too early and played the wrong position in a league where he was way over his head physically and developmentally, or did he suck because he sucks and will always suck? There is at least a suggestion in his FIBA play that it’s more the former than the latter. Nothing to hang your hat on, but enough to take a good hard look given his contract status.

    We’d probably have a more complete answer he played a half-season, give or take, in the G-league. Or if he wasn’t hurt most of last season.

    But to be fair, if he had never played in the NBA and all you had to go on was FIBA, he played well enough for at least a camp deal, right? Which is essentially what he has right now. If he looks good in preseason, meaning better than the rest of the scrubs on the roster, then keep him around for another 2 years. And I STILL think he would improve more if he got a steady 30+ minutes a night in the G-League for a couple of months than if he got 10 mpg off the bench and got yanked every time he fucked up (as he should on a non-tanking team).

  133. KnickfaninNJ

    The implied question in many of the posts in this thread is “Did Ntilikina improve over the summer”. Nobody has explicitly said this but it’s the obvious question when people cite his stats from the current FIBA. Of course it’s a small sample size, but it’s all we’ve go to look at. So we talk about it. Of course his previous two years of stats are lousy, but they only serve as a basis of comparison in thinking about whether he improved or not, they are a not a contradiction or argument against the current stats.

    One thing about basketball stats is that management often has to make decisions about players even though they have only a small data set. This is the case for Ntilikina. No doubt Knick’s management would like more data before they decide on Frank’s option. But they don’t and won’t have it. Personally, I hope they pick up the option. I finally watched the France US game. Frank wasn’t great, but he did do some things on offense that were better than before, and they weren’t just shooting. He did some nice pick and rolls with Gobert and passed to him for easy baskets to the point where, when he did one again in the fourth quarter, both defenders went with Gobert and he immediately drained a dagger of a three pointer.

  134. bidiong

    The great bidiong, who has been reading and not posting and has also been drinking scotch says: I love Frank but let’s not get too happy. Also let’s give him a chance in preseason and see where we go from here. And fuck James Dolan!

  135. Early Bird

    Of course it’s a small sample size, but it’s all we’ve go to look at. So we talk about it. Of course his previous two years of stats are lousy, but they only serve as a basis of comparison in thinking about whether he improved or not, they are a not a contradiction or argument against the current stats.

    One thing about basketball stats is that management often has to make decisions about players even though they have only a small data set. This is the case for Ntilikina. No doubt Knick’s management would like more data before they decide on Frank’s option. But they don’t and won’t have it.

    The last 2 years are definitely relevant in evaluating Frank Ntilikina.
    See, Bayesian Inference.

  136. KnickfaninNJ

    Of course the last two years of stats are relevant. But if you want to know if he improved over them, which he could have because summer is when players have time to work on their games, you have to use the limited FIBA data. I was replying to those who post comments that imply those two years of stats are the be all and end all of evaluating him. They are not.

  137. DRed

    None of them have turned into anything noteworthy (only Aminu turned into a useful player to a decent team),

    Everyone else can pretend Cole Aldrich didn’t play 800 minutes for a 53 win Clippers team and finish second on the team in BPM and third in WS/48 but not me, I remember that shit.

  138. Bruno Almeida

    @168

    I’m sorry, but this makes no sense. The point about disregarding small sample sizes is that they don’t prove anything, they don’t allow is to know if he improved over those 2 years of a much bigger sample size. You don’t have to use the FIBA data as it is simply not conclusive to anything, it’s been like what, 150 minutes of gameplay? That would be the same if he sucked in FIBA, it wouldn’t prove or allow us to know anything more than we do.

    The small sample size shows that, during this 150+ minutes, he is playing decently, that’s all it shows. It doesn’t mean that this improvement will be meaningful for the season or that it will stay consistent over the course of the next 2000 minutes he plays in the NBA. If you cut small 150+ minute sample sizes, I’m pretty sure you can make any scrub that has played consistent minutes in the NBA look like he’s good, I mean, Jerome James got a 30 million contract out of a 200 minute sample size in the playoffs.

    The only thing that matters is if Ntilikina can play at this level consistently over a much longer period.

  139. JK47

    If you had a young player on your MLB roster who was a failed prospect with a career wRC+ of like 70, but then he went 10-25 at the plate in the World Baseball Classic, would you bump up his status as a prospect? You probably wouldn’t.

  140. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I haven’t laughed so hard at a comment in awhile, thanks @169

    got me thinking about Nick Collison — without peeking, everyone take guesses on how many seasons he played

  141. dtrickey

    I feel like it was something crazy like 15 or 16 years. He was definitely around for a few years when the Sonics were still around. 1 club player too, which is pretty impressive considering guys like him are basically trade filler.

  142. Donnie Walsh

    From December 9th through December 14th, 2017, Frank Ntilikina played 103 minutes against four NBA teams. He shot 14-33 from the field, 7-13 from 3 point range, 3-4 from the FT line, grabbed 15 rebounds, dished out 21 assists, nabbed 7 steals, and tallied 38 points while the Knicks went 3-1 during that stretch.

    That night, one of the regular KB posters and resident Frank optimist wrote: “I wouldn’t do a Frank for Kemba [trade] straight up. I think there’s a 10% chance Frank is the best all around player on the team in 2-3 years. He’s consistent shooting, learning to defend without fouling, and a few less rookie errors away from being very good right now. A break out could happen later this year. It would be insane if it did at 19, but it could.”

    Needless to say, Frank Ntilikina reverted back to his usual form, and 18 months later the same folks are pining over an almost identical run of lipsticked mediocrity.

  143. KnickfaninNJ

    @170 @174, I’m not claiming that the FIBA data proves anything. It doesn’t. But if you want to know if Frank is improving as a player, it’s all the statistics you have.

  144. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    “I wouldn’t do a Frank for Kemba [trade] straight up. I think there’s a 10% chance Frank is the best all around player on the team in 2-3 years. He’s consistent shooting, learning to defend without fouling, and a few less rookie errors away from being very good right now. A break out could happen later this year. It would be insane if it did at 19, but it could.”

    If that wasn’t me, it should have been.

    I don’t expect people here to agree with an assessment like that because everyone here is primarily focused on his current poor rating on boxscore models I disagree with.

    But I still think he’s got a chance to become a cross between Patrick Beverly and Draymond Green where his defensive and playmaking impact on the court overwhelms his limited scoring ability. He has to stay healthy, be developed and used properly, and work his ass off on 3 point shooting.

    I’d take a 6′ 6” or 6′ 7″ Patrick Beverly that switches 3-4 positions and locks down the best guards in the league all day every day!!!

    His defense is impactful already and his defensive upside is elite.

    He’s a consistent 3 pointer and a few years of experience away from becoming a player like that. So when he’s hitting 3s and looking a little better going to the basket, I’m dreaming of what he can become and not praying he fails so I can say I was right like the faux Knicks fans here.

  145. Z-man

    I’m dreaming of what he can become and not praying he fails so I can say I was right like the faux Knicks fans here.

    This is dumb and uncalled for.

  146. bobneptune

    What’s it called when you ignore 2400 minutes of NBA play and instead focus on 80 minutes of FIBA play to illustrate your point?

    Are you going for the record of straw men raised in a single thread? Not a single human has said Frank has played well offensively and quite objectively he has been putrid.

    But most players never enter the NBA at 18.5 He is a college aged player who has elite defensive skills and is a willing and better than average passer at this young stage. That’s what the argument is

  147. Owen

    I can’t believe how much older and different Luis Scola looks. Still balling though.

    Frank had a good 3rd quarter from what I saw. Hit a good three and finished a strong drive and played solid defense. France has allowed way too many offensive rebounds.

  148. Owen

    And then just nailed a beautiful jumper dribbling to his left. Not sure I have seen him hit that shot as a Knick.

    Then a bad turnover on a pick and roll with Gobert.

    Argentina is a tough team. Feels like a scrappy mid-major that’s better than the big conference team…

  149. Early Bird

    Seems like the classic let down game for France after beating the US. Credit to Argentina for pouncing and generally playing a strong tournament. Can’t believe the finals was almost Argentina v. Australia.

  150. Owen

    I will say this, Frank’s performance today ensures at least another 300,000 words on his future NBA viability….

  151. DRed

    Looks like Frank was the best player for France today? Gobert only scoring 3 points is no good.

    I didn’t realize until today that Knicks legend Louis Labeyrie also played for France.

  152. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    I think a lot of people’s feeling about Frank is influenced by where he was drafted – had he not been picked #8, there would be lower expectations, a bit more love, and maybe more patience. People seem to resent that he was picked that high. But it’s not like he drafted himself, y’know? And it’s now a sunk cost, so forget it and move on. Even the option – what are we doing with that money next off-season, anyway? Sign another forward?

    If I were to say, “hey, let’s see if we can pick up that French guard who shut down Kemba for maybe 3 years, $2 mil per year as a second round pick,” I’m pretty sure everyone would be down with that. I think people would see him as a second-unit guy you bring in for 15 minutes as a backup point, maybe play him some 2 or 3 if you are having trouble defending.

    He could flop out of the league, but you expect that with second-round picks. I don’t think anyone would be quite as irritated about it – just bummed that we took a flyer on a kid with potential who didn’t work out.

    Maybe let’s all look at him that way, since the money actually doesn’t matter at all in our current situation?

  153. Hubert

    While accepting that it was a small sample size, I think this tournament supports the arguments of some (myself included) that the kid would look better outside of Fizdale’s cracked basketball system that only values aggression and looking for your own shot.

    I’m not willing to write him off until I see him play a full basketball season at a proper age in a proper system.

  154. Early Bird

    If Jared Jeffries shut Kemba down in FIBA would you want Jared Jeffries? No, because there’s more than enough evidence that he’s not worth it.

    If you know literally nothing about a player, you’re in a very different position than if you have a previous track record to go by.

    Even if you think he improved, you need to account for the natural variation in numbers. Looking at the numbers Frank put up in FIBA, they’re not so out of line to justify thinking he’s made any sort of improvement. That’s just math. Your argument for Frank is basically that math is wrong.

    Even then, you’re not taking into account the weaker competition, the shorter 3pt line, or the fact that Frank is half a foot taller than every other point guard. If Frank isn’t an NBA pg, he doesn’t get a natural height advantage to get his shot off.

  155. Bruno Almeida

    Scola and Marc Gasol putting up vintage performances, this will be a very fun finals. Argentina never backs down from anyone and I really think they have a shot against the more talented Spanish team.

  156. Early Bird

    If your argument is wait till Frank is 24, then let him walk and try to sign him when he’s actually good. Otherwise we’re wasting a roster spot for the next 3 years. Frank, at best, is a value trap.

  157. Early Bird

    All that said, Frank has played well–credit to him. You want to see Frank play well on this level, but it doesn’t justify throwing out your prior or all the previous evidence.

    Also, is it just me or does Scola look a lot better with the haircut than the mop he used to have? Always respected his game, he deserves the praise.

  158. alsep73

    So we went into the tournament all understanding that Frank was likely out of the Knicks’ rotation — and possibly off the roster altogether — unless he balled out in this tournament. These last few games definitely qualify as balling out. Obviously, we have no way of knowing how much, if any, of this is sustainable and applicable to him when he’s back in the NBA. But at minimum, he’s earned himself another chance somewhere. So now the questions are:

    1)Did this tournament improve his standing within the NYK organization? Recent stories have suggested that Perry is a Frank skeptic, while Mills (who was here when he was drafted) was still holding out hope he could be developed. And who the bleep knows what Fiz believes about anything? So did Frank’s play in the last few games increase the chances of the option being picked up, and/or Frank getting a real crack at the rotation, or does it only make it more likely Perry can get something back for him in trade?

    2)If he’s staying and getting a real shot, is it as a lead guard or a wing? He mostly played the 1 in the tournament, but next to a ball-dominant guard in Fournier. (It’s a set-up that the Knicks could replicate by playing him next to Barrett or Trier, but also as the 2 next to DSJ.) He still doesn’t rebound well at all, though if we have a Payton/Barrett backcourt with him getting minutes at the 3, they’d cover for his deficiencies there. And given the glut the Knicks have at the 1, the 2, and the 3, which of those spots provides him the best opening to prove FIBA wasn’t a fluke?

  159. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    French Knicks Pod
    @FrenchKnicksPod
    Just read something interesting.

    By a NBA Scout :

    “If Frank Ntilikina is unrestricted Free Agent next summer, we will sign him for sure in our franchise, our coaching staff have a great system & Frank will fit perfect with us”.

  160. Owen

    A value trap is a business that looks cheap on metrics because it’s in decline, i.e. the metrics havent quite caught up to reality. Aging veterans are classic value traps. Not sure that description matches Frank who definitely has plenty of room for improvement.

    We would all be much happier I think if Frank were starting a 4 year 12 million dollar deal. That much is fair.

  161. Hubert

    I’d rather trade him before the season starts. Fizdale doesn’t like him and will tank any perceived value he currently has. Frank’s never going to work out here. We don’t have the patience.

    (And is there anything more messed up than a team with no visible path to contention lacking the patience for player development?)

  162. Early Bird

    A value trap is a business that looks cheap on metrics because it’s in decline, i.e. the metrics havent quite caught up to reality.

    Fair, my business education isn’t the best. Still, if you can buy later when the business gets good rather than holding it for three years without much movement, doesn’t it make sense to buy it later? For now, put your money in an asset that will get you a return over the next three years. Otherwise you lose out on the opportunity cost of holding the asset for several years.

    I’m perfectly fine with keeping Frank if we sit him at the end of the bench and pay him a low salary over multiple years. At that point, we would have a cost controlled asset if he does bloom at 23 or 24. As of now, he’ll leave for more money once he has a break out season. My concern is that Frank won’t be okay with a low dollar value without getting court time. Another team will match the offer, give him more playing time, or he’ll return to Europe.

  163. Hubert

    If he’s staying and getting a real shot, is it as a lead guard or a wing?

    If he stays here, I say the G league. Away from Fizdale. The guy hates European players and has frozen Frank out from day 1, when in his initial press conference he told the world his goal was to fix Mudiay.

    By the way, the more I talk about Frank the more I want to fire Fizdale.

  164. Early Bird

    Early Bird, sounds like you’re advocating for the Tim Hardaway Jr method of player development.

    Tim Hardaway was missing the fairly important “being good” part of the strategy. Also Hardaway was overpaid even for what promise he did show. In my estimation, Frank needs a few years before he even has a chance to play well in the NBA. I think it’s perfectly possible to let him develop overseas for several years and bring him back before his value skyrockets too much. Like many people have said, he doesn’t hit his peak for another 3 years. If he ever does make the jump, it may take until then. If he looks like he might make the jump, then sign him at 23. If not, then you didn’t waste three years.

    Again, I’d be okay keeping him for multiple years for cheap. We currently don’t have him for multiple years on the cheap. We have him for 1+1 for around $6 million. If we do get him for multiple years, he may breakout just as that contract is ending anyways. 4 years @ $3 million per puts him at 25 and we’re upping his salary once he’s hit his prime. If we can sign him on the cheap when he’s 23 for 4 years we have him locked up during his prime on a high value contract.

  165. ptmilo

    frank isn’t a value trap he’s a busted ipo. sometimes they are homeruns when the renters skip town just before some strategic buyer tries their hand at bottom fishing. other times not. i would play frank significant minutes and keep his option. one of the minor but real problems of this offseason is that a front office needs to navigate the reality of their coach. if you bring in guys like ellington and bullock and already have two point guards and 3 or 4 young wings ahead of a guy like frank, you make it very hard to get him on the floor unless you are highly aligned with your coach. of course maybe they are, but just not in a frankophile sort of way.

  166. DRed

    Frank is likely to suck, but we really do have to develop young players at some point if we’re ever going to be a good team and Frank is still young enough that he might improve enough to be useful, so I’d rather spend 6 million on him than six million on wayne ellington.

  167. JK47

    I’m dreaming of what he can become and not praying he fails so I can say I was right like the faux Knicks fans here.

    Strat, go ahead and cram this up your ass.

    You seem to root for a lot of players and coaches and executives to fail so you can brag about how right you are, and you also shade a lot of things in a way that is favorable to Phil Jackson so you can prove how right you were about him too.

    Don’t pull that “if you’re not a pollyanna you’re not a fan” shit here. You’re better than that. I thought Frank was a decent pick and I was embarrassingly wrong, and I can own up to that because at the end of the day I care about the truth more than I care about being right on a blog.

  168. JK47

    If Frank turns out to have a good NBA career, I’ll be the first to say, “Wow, I was wrong about Frank.” Just like if Kevin Knox turns out to be good I’ll say “Wow, I was wrong about Kevin Knox.” In fact, I truly hope this happens. I’d like to see some good young players here.

    How about you, Strat? If Frank sucks again and he’s out of the league in 18 months, and he’s the backup PG for Limoges when he’s in his mid-20’s, are you gonna say “Wow, I was wrong about Frank, he sucks,” or are you going to say “It’s too bad Fizdale and Steve Mills fucked up such a great player” and blame it on somebody else?

  169. Donnie Walsh

    I still think he’s got a chance to become a cross between Patrick Beverly and Draymond Green where his defensive and playmaking impact on the court overwhelms his limited scoring ability. He has to stay healthy, be developed and used properly, and work his ass off on 3 point shooting.

    I’d take a 6? 6” or 6? 7? Patrick Beverly that switches 3-4 positions and locks down the best guards in the league all day every day!!!

    It’s interesting that both the players you think he could become like were second round draft picks, therefore cheap to develop, and came into the league many years older than Ntilikina did. And Patrick Beverly, in his first two years, looked like Michael Jordan offensively compared to what Frank Ntilikina has done.

    The Knicks will have to spend $27,000,000 just to get him to the same age that Patrick Beverly was when he was a rookie. At that point the year would be 2022, and after 28 years of not extending their draft picks past their rookie contracts, Frank Ntilikina, with his long torso and Patrick Beverly game, is going to break the streak?

    As someone that has followed the Knicks closely since the late 1980, I would find it fitting that of all the players to invest their heart and soul into over the past 28 years, the franchise would choose Frank Ntilikina, with his historically terrible stats. But I think the chances of that are slim, and that the Knicks should find the Stratomatic of General Managers out there and deal him while his FIBA stock is soaring.

    And to be clear, I’m not saying that Frank won’t ever improve and become a useful player. I am saying that by the time he improves and becomes useful, it will most certainly be for another team, which makes it kind of pointless to dream big about him as Knick fans.

  170. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    How about you, Strat? If Frank sucks again and he’s out of the league in 18 months, and he’s the backup PG for Limoges when he’s in his mid-20’s, are you gonna say “Wow, I was wrong about Frank, he sucks,” or are you going to say “It’s too bad Fizdale and Steve Mills fucked up such a great player” and blame it on somebody else?

    “the stats lied because stats lie”

  171. Owen

    The smart money has been Frank breaking out as a Spur in 2024….

    I think I just referred to myself as the smart money….

  172. JK47

    Patrick Beverley is probably Frank’s 95 percentile outcome. His 50 percentile outcome is “not an NBA quality player.”

    It’s probably worth giving Frank that fourth year to see if he does turn into Beverly, because the opportunity cost is low. It’s not like that $6M or whatever it is will be spent on something useful. But here’s the thing: the ACTUAL Patrick Beverly made $5.7M last year.

  173. Brian Cronin Post author

    Respect to Shaun Livingston, who just retired. I was a big fan of him and I was stunned that he ended up having the career he had. One of the best stories in NBA history.

  174. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    It would physically hurt me if I found out Shaun Livingston is an asshole. He seems like a guy who would be at home on this board. Hell of a career from a guy who probably shouldn’t be able to walk without a cane.

  175. KnickfaninNJ

    (And is there anything more messed up than a team with no visible path to contention lacking the patience for player development?)

    This and what ptmilo said are the heart of the problem. We have a team full of hired guns most of whom will probably be out to improve their individual stats. That makes it harder to develop Ntilikina.

    That said, I think it wouldn’t be impossible for Frank to outplay DSJ for the second point guard spot if we had a coach with a different style. But we don’t, so I predict he’s gone soon.

  176. Hubert

    How have we decided fizdale hates european players?

    His own words, specifically spoken to Marc Gasol:

    “I know what real championships are, not that fake stuff in Europe,’” the person said. “’That Euro championship stuff doesn’t cut it.’”

    ^ Admittedly hearsay. But we know enough about him to know it’s probably fair to assume this isn’t a complete fabrication.

  177. swiftandabundant

    Is that quote a slam on European players specifically or is he just saying that winning a championship in a euro league is not the same as winning an NBA championship. That quote is certainly not diplomatic but its also not false.

  178. alsep73

    Yeah, I am more skeptical of Fizdale than I’m not, but he gave Mario plenty of run last season, long past the point when it stopped being deserved. That could also be him trying to do a solid for Perry, though, whereas the only person in the building with even a vague sentimental attachment to Frank is Mills.

    Point being, we don’t know anything, except that we have ample reason to be suspicious of every top decision-maker on this team.

  179. Knew Your Nicks

    Winning an nba title with 3-5 hall of famers in your team ain’t more impressive to me than winning any title on any league with youngs & scraps against big budget teams.
    If Fiz is unable to develop our young assets and build a winning culture maybe he needs a trip to Europe to learn a few things about bball development….id suggest him taking a seminar by Duda Ivkovic.

  180. Hubert

    Sure, he played Mario. And there’s no way he would have hated Kristaps if he were here scoring 27ppg. I’m happy to amend my position:

    There is a style of basketball – one that is predominant in Europe and that Frank fits into – which Fizdale openly disdains. You can see it in his quote and you can see it in his rotation decisions.

    Thus, whether Fizdale “hates european players” or not (an over the top statement, I admit), I am confident stating that Fizdale is not a good coach for Frank, and extremely confident in my belief that he will bury Frank on the bench this year. Therefore we should trade him now if he has any value after this tournament.

  181. Farfa

    Yes, as I said many times in my recaps (much to the chagrin of the good Z-Man), the apparent problem with Fizdale is that he doesn’t understand/doesn’t believe in team play. He likes guys who can create for themselves because his brain is focused only on the motivation/con art part of the job.

  182. Hubert

    I will never understand why reub tried to pass for a soccer mom for a while

    Maybe the joke is on us and a soccer mom pretended to be reub.

  183. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    I didn’t watch today’s game, but I saw a quick highlight and this is what the commentators had to say after Frank drove to the basket and scored on a tough shot.

    “Ntilikina, tough drive. Boy, he’s probably been their best player tonight. He’s probably been the only player that’s played well”.

    “Yeah, I think the Knicks have potentially a really special player”.

  184. Donnie Walsh

    this is what the commentators had to say after Frank drove to the basket and scored on a tough shot.

    “I think the Knicks have potentially a really special player.

    Knickerblogger community: presents 2500 minutes of evidence stating the Knicks don’t have a special player.

    Stratomatic: posts the opinion of a commentator whose name he doesn’t know stating the Knicks do have a special player.

    Shall we call this debate a draw?

  185. swiftandabundant

    Dude, Knew Your Nicks…come on! You have to know what he means by that. The NBA is the best basketball league in the world BY FAR. Its so good that Frank playing well in FIBA means nothing to most people on this blog. Winning an NBA title even with prime Lebron, Wade and Bosh is no easy feat. Its a grind. The longest season in the basketball world with the best competition every night. The playoffs are rarely an easy run for most championship teams save a few of the truly best teams of all time. Winning a title in the NBA is way more of an accomplishment for ANY team than it is to win an Olympic medal or FIBA championship or a title in some European league.

    Its not a knock on European players. The NBA is the best partly because THE BEST European players in the world play in the NBA as well.

  186. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    Iso-Zo should buy Fiz a new car every month

    lol

    Shall we call this debate a draw?

    You have some very fine people on both sides

  187. Early Bird

    “Ntilikina, tough drive. Boy, he’s probably been their best player tonight. He’s probably been the only player that’s played well”.

    “Yeah, I think the Knicks have potentially a really special player”.

    Color me shocked that a 40 year old Luis Scola wasn’t able to shut down the lane with his superior mobility and Mitchell-esque shotblocking ability. Thank goodness the NBA doesn’t have anyone on Luis Scola’s defensive level.

  188. Knew Your Nicks

    @237
    I know man.
    Nba is the best league for sure.
    But let’s not call it a great accomplishment getting an Nba title while being the favourite to win it even before the season started.
    What’s the difficulty ? Staying healthy ?
    Even me, you or my kitten could get the nba title with the Heat or the GSW teams on their prime.

  189. JK47

    But let’s not call it a great accomplishment getting an Nba title while being the favourite to win it even before the season started.
    What’s the difficulty ? Staying healthy ?

    The difficulty is being very good at basketball
    That’s the hard part

  190. swiftandabundant

    What that supposed Fizdale quote means (to me) is that just because you were a good player in Europe or played on a championship team doesn’t mean you’re owed something or have accomplished anything in the NBA. And he’s not wrong about that. It doesn’t mean european player suck or aren’t man enough or anything like that. Just that its a higher level of competition to win a title.

    And teams like The Warriors and The Heatles don’t just happen overnight and aren’t exactly easy to put together. The Heat lost 2 of the 4 championships they competed in. The Warriors lost 2 of the 5 they competed in. The Bulls won 6 titles with Jordan but it took Jordan until his 8th or 9th season to reach that level of dominanace. Shaq and Kobe 3peated but it took bringing in Phil and other key role players and Shaq reaching his peak for that to happen. Its never “easy.”

  191. Knew Your Nicks

    My definition of accomplishment:
    Getting the nba title as Kawhi in Toronto is a Great accomplishment.
    Getting the nba title as KD in GSW is Not so great…imo

  192. Knew Your Nicks

    One more for the back seats:

    Patrick McCaw is a 3 times Nba Champion.
    Wow !
    What an accomplishment !

  193. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Answer: to lend some “female” credibility when he vomited his latest misogynistic bullshit onto this site’s logs

  194. Hubert

    What that supposed Fizdale quote means (to me) is that just because you were a good player in Europe or played on a championship team doesn’t mean you’re owed something or have accomplished anything in the NBA. And he’s not wrong about that. It doesn’t mean european player suck or aren’t man enough or anything like that. Just that its a higher level of competition to win a title.

    Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the quote is David Fizdale acting like he knows more about winning basketball than Marc Gasol. Because Marc only won in Europe, whereas David…. did what, exactly? He tickled LeBron and Wade’s nuts for a couple of seasons.

  195. KnickfaninNJ

    Even if the literal meaning of the quote is something innocuous, it definitely gives the impression of contempt for European basketball.

  196. geo

    @247…well there madam – any good cruise stories miss Giana?

    always funny to think about the different shit that gets stuck in our head, and, what we sometimes choose to remember…

  197. geo

    forgot to record the game this morning…there’s a re-broadcast on espn (not sure exactly which channel) of our young fiba warrior, frank’s game…

    turns out – i didn’t really miss watching all those games much at all – and, a hearty fuck you espn plus…

  198. Donnie Walsh

    Getting the nba title as Kawhi in Toronto is a Great accomplishment.

    It is a great accomplishment, but it also only happened because of crippling injuries to two of said great basketball players. Sometimes, you just need to be in the right place at the right time, whether you’re Patrick Macaw, or Kawhi Leonard, or Scottie Pippen, or really anybody at all.

  199. Bruno Almeida

    Fizdale was just repeating what common sense often dictates about European players and their leagues, I mean, people still genuinely think college teams have a chance against teams like Barcelona and Madrid for example. I don’t think its anything that proves he hates Europeans, outside from well, if your coach is just regurgitating reddit level takes when dealing with superstars, he might just be a hack, but we kinda already understood that from the shit he was saying during last season. I think he’s just bad at his job, which is a bigger problem for us in this case.

  200. bidiong

    I’ll be interested to see what the front office does with Fizdale after our next catastrophic season. Hell, I’m looking forward to what Dolan does with the front office after next season.

  201. Z-man

    I don’t generally respond to Giana or Knew Your Nicks because they are both incomprehensible morons of the nth degree.

  202. Z-man

    Hubert is in the same category with Ntilakilla and 2 for 18….barely smart enough to take seriously., quick to swallow conspiracy theories hook line and sinker.

  203. geo

    if your coach is just regurgitating reddit level takes when dealing with superstars, he might just be a hack, but we kinda already understood that from the shit he was saying during last season. I think he’s just bad at his job, which is a bigger problem for us in this case.

    yikes, that sounds frighteningly close to the truth…

    I’m gonna stay positive though and think that – maybe that guy mike miller can really coach…

  204. JK47

    Yeah, I know I’m Mr. Negativity around here but Fizdale does not seem to be a great basketball mind. This is one of those rare things about which the Knickerblogger hive mind seems to have come to a consensus.

  205. Knew Your Nicks

    @258
    Didn’t see that coming !
    Looks like losing people’s attention for a couple of days can really hurt someone’s ego….to the point he loses his cool.
    Best Wishes that you ll be soon back doing all the things you love.

  206. Brian Cronin Post author

    Fiz is a fascinating guy. My first instinct with guys like that is to say, “If you were a better coach, you wouldn’t have to spend all of your time selling yourself,” but I think that you could argue that that is a bit of a naive take, as there are only 30 of these jobs out there and they’re quite coveted, so maybe there really is a skill of being able to promote the shit out of yourself. Maybe there is a skill there to be one of the Larry Drews of the world and know that you’ll cut the knees out from under your friends for gigs. Fizdale is a survivor. He might not be a particularly talented coach, but he has a lot of that Steve Mills attitude about him (the next time Fizdale takes the blame for something will be the first time he takes the blame for something) and so it will be fascinating to see which one of these two perennial survivors is the ultimate survivor of the next couple of bad Knick seasons.

    Or hey, maybe everything will work out really well and they’ll both get to survive!

    A guy can dream, can’t he?

  207. bobneptune

    Olgun Uluc: An emotional but measured Luc Longley, after Australia’s loss: “Spain gets kissed on the dick by the basketball gods every time we play them.”

    Ozzies are funny dudes……

  208. Z-man

    @262 my recollection is that he owned up to making mistakes with Gasol. He did it in a clunky way, but he did take some responsibility. Gasol took his share of responsibility as well, and the two have apparently patched things up.

    I’m not a Fiz fan, generally speaking. He’s too much of a gabby preacher in my book. However, it’s hard to read anything into last year. His job was to tank into the top lottery spot and he did that splendidly. I disagree that he prefers iso play over ball movement. I disagree that he has anything against European players.

    I vehemently disagree that he mishandled Frank or has any bias against him for any reason. he averaged 21mpg, same as he did his rookie year for a different coach, and he was equally putrid both years, as in league-worst putrid. He did not belong in the NBA at all, so if anything, coach was stupid playing him in a league where he was physically (and skill-wise) overmatched to the point where injury and embarrassment was inevitable. Again, he was drafted 2 years too early (who said “He’s 2 years away from being 2 years away!” about Caboclo?) and way too high but that’s water under the bridge.

  209. bobneptune

    I’m not a Fiz fan, generally speaking. He’s too much of a gabby preacher in my book. However, it’s hard to read anything into last year. His job was to tank into the top lottery spot and he did that splendidly. I disagree that he prefers iso play over ball movement. I disagree that he has anything against European players.

    I vehemently disagree that he mishandled Frank or has any bias against him for any reason. he averaged 21mpg, same as he did his rookie year for a different coach, and he was equally putrid both years, as in league-worst putrid. He did not belong in the NBA at all, so if anything, coach was stupid playing him in a league where he was physically (and skill-wise) overmatched to the point where injury and embarrassment was inevitable. Again, he was drafted 2 years too early (who said “He’s 2 years away from being 2 years away!” about Caboclo?) and way too high but that’s water under the bridge.

    You realize you logic is a little specious here. If his job was tanking and Frank sucked so hard he should have been getting 48 minutes a game :-)

  210. Z-man

    @262 sorry, NYN, that was overly harsh. I just think your posts are uninspiring. You try to be clever by speaking in metaphors and it just doesn’t work for me.

    And you’re clearly not in reub’s class of being a pox on this site. Sorry for including you in the same sentence.

  211. Z-man

    @267 he had Kevin Knox for that. And Mudiay and Hezonja were no slouches as tank commanders as well!

    The one thing I will give Knox is that he physically held up to being a go-to player for most of the year, even though his body isn’t fully developed.

  212. Knew Your Nicks

    @268
    Apology accepted.
    The truth is that i use metaphors as tools to communicate truth/facts/beliefs but its not always easy to Succeed on that especially not on my mother language.
    Sorry
    And I find many posts in here tiring, narcissistic, hateful, dumb or negative in general but that’s not a reason to characterise/insult their writers.

    Would you like a better ‘world’ ?
    Hit the posts, not the posters.

  213. bobneptune

    The one thing I will give Knox is that he physically held up to being a go-to player for most of the year, even though his body isn’t fully developed.

    That’s because he didn’t fight through a single screen the entire season unlike a certain Frenchman who ended up playing with both shoulders taped up 4 games into the season. I’m thinking that is a big reason hit the weight room hard this off season.

  214. Z-man

    Fighting through screens is a lost art in today’s switch-heavy NBA. Clyde sometimes talks about how Willis would get ornery if he didn’t fight over a screen…to paraphrase, “I ain’t chasin’ no guards around out there!” Now the emphasis seems to be on guarding multiple positions. Knox was not particularly good at guarding any position, so fighting over screens would not matter much with him.

    As for Frank, he’s actually pretty good on switches so it all depends on whether the other defender can handle the switch. But I don’t care what kind of shape you’re in, if you keep running into bigs on screens, you aren’t going to last long, especially when you have long-ass arms that will eventually get your shoulders wrenched out of joint. See: Ron Baker

  215. Brian Cronin Post author

    @262 my recollection is that he owned up to making mistakes with Gasol. He did it in a clunky way, but he did take some responsibility. Gasol took his share of responsibility as well, and the two have apparently patched things up.

    That’s a very good point. You’re right, he did sort of own up to the Gasol situation being handled poorly. He did it as a sort of sales pitch for himself, but he did own up to it. I would think it would be hard to not address it as it was so visible, but it is still fair to say that he did do it. So I guess I should say he hasn’t owned up to any mistakes as a Knicks coach.

  216. The Infamous Cdiggy

    In my summation, I think this is the year we’ll learn a lot about Fiz. I don’t think you can totally discount those who are skeptic of his coaching abilities, but for me I can’t judge much from a clear tank year.

    Self promo plug: here’s a sample of my work with our Athletics Department. My interviewing skills are quite rusty; it’s my first voice recording of any kind in over a decade. I also began maintaining the school’s athletic site in the spring.

  217. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Thanks, geo!
    It’s been a real ordeal these first six months – my designed position is Sports Information Specialist, but because our department secretary retired in the Spring I have to pick up that slack as well until we hire another one (remember that I essentially work for the gub-ment – they don’t do quick hires). So I’ve just been on a steep learning curve.
    The latter half of this week has been the first time in awhile I haven’t felt overwhelmed. Oh, and that same coach you heard in that interview is the Laker fan who on team #lolKnicks who just knew Kawhi to the Lakers was done. Doesn’t stop him from trolling me occasionally.

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