CLEVELAND — Given Frank Ntilikina’s already shaky damage historical past, Jeff Hornacek warned that beginning the 19-yr-previous could possibly be a detriment to his well being — and maybe even his improvement.
“If he earns that beginning spot, positive. However we’ve got to control him, with the little bumps and bruises that he has had, to not throw him to the wolves,” Hornacek stated. “We need to problem him. They usually’ll be occasions that he is on a few of these star guys, however we favored what he did (coming off the bench in Friday’s victory over Brooklyn). He was excellent in the best way he set issues up. He retains enjoying like that then he will study.”
Ntilikina missed all however one recreation in Summer time League and preseason on account of a knee damage, after which sprained his ankle after one common-season look. He returned with a powerful displaying towards the Nets, however the Knicks aren’t dashing him into the beginning lineup like they did two years in the past with Kristaps Porzingis.
Not that this is a sign of New York souring on Ntilikina’s potential. If something, the choice to deliver the Frenchman alongside slowly jibes with the group’s course towards an extended rebuild. The entrance workplace additionally declined to incorporate Ntilikina in commerce talks for Suns level guard Eric Bledsoe.
Frank Ntilikina confirmed why he was prime draft decide at MSG debut
“We’re dedicated to Frank and his improvement,” Knicks president Steve Mills stated. “That is a part of what we talked about originally of the yr. Once I got here on, we talked about what we’re making an attempt to do with this staff and it facilities round guys like Frank and guys like (Kristaps Porzingis).
“We have now our draft picks shifting ahead so we’ll have younger guys they usually’ll all the time be supplemented by veteran guys as a result of you possibly can’t simply throw a bunch of younger guys on the market and anticipate them to play nicely and compete. We’re completely satisfied to see what Frank did within the Brooklyn recreation and I really feel actually good about him.”
Jarrett Jack, who gained the start line-guard spot from Ramon Periods, is predicted within the lineup once more Sunday towards Cleveland. He might be matched up towards Derrick Rose, the Knicks’ start line guard final season, who’s possible to return for the Cavs from a sprained ankle.