Knicks’ opening-night starting 5 becoming clear without Ntilikina

Knicks president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry, coach Jeff Hornacek and coach Anthony Goenaga huddled for 20 minutes at apply for a gathering relating to Frank Ntilikina. The French level guard went by means of solo drills on the courtroom after follow because the regime seemed on, chatting.

Ntilikina had a contact-much less apply Thursday. It seems the 6-5 rookie will miss his fourth straight preseason recreation when the Knicks end up the exhibition schedule Friday towards Washington.

That may imply Ntilikina, affected by a bruised proper knee wrapped in an enormous blue sleeve, will go into the common season subsequent Thursday in Oklahoma Metropolis with only one preseason recreation underneath his belt.

Together with Ntilikina, Hornacek indicated Kristaps Porzingis in all probability will even sit out the preseason finale due to his sore proper hip. However the 7-three Latvian received in sufficient video games through the European Championships that his rust shouldn’t be a priority.

“I don’t know if both of them performs at this level,’’ Hornacek stated. “We’ll discover out extra [Friday]. The swelling within the knee has gone down [with Ntilikina]. There’s nonetheless some soreness. We’d wish to get him again as quickly as attainable, however he’s a younger child, so we now have to ensure we’re doing the correct issues for him.”

It’s been a disappointing preseason for the Knicks’ No. eight decide, particularly with two guards they handed up within the draft — Dennis Smith Jr. (Dallas) and Malik Monk (Charlotte) — excelling.

Ntilikina performed the preseason opener, shot 1-of-7 for 5 factors and picked up three assists. He appeared good on protection and operating the offense, however his sturdiness is now a serious concern as a rookie with a slight construct.

Dashing Ntilikina in a preseason recreation is just not one thing the group prefers, particularly now that it has turn into clear Ramon Periods will begin the season as start line guard.

Ramon PeriodsNBAE/Getty Photographs

“I feel once you begin enjoying common-season video games, then the hope is guys know how you can play once they’re just a little sore so long as they’re not making it worse,’’ Hornacek stated. “I feel in exhibition season, we’re a bit of extra cautious.’’

Porzingis hasn’t performed because the first half of the Nets recreation Sunday. He was shut down within the second half, then missed the Houston recreation Monday.

Having Porzingis enjoying towards Washington can be a lift to solidifying their beginning lineup within the ultimate tuneup, however the Knicks have 4 or 5 practices earlier than the season opener…

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