Ntilikina scored zero points while adding just two assists and one rebound in 16 minutes during Monday's 116-115 loss to the Bulls.
Ntilikina started Monday but was a huge letdown, failing to score in 16 minutes on the court. He couldn't get anything going in this one which gave Emmanuel Mudiay a chance to see some extra playing time. Ntilikina appears locked in as the starter however it is clear that on nights he is struggling, the starter tag will mean nothing at all. He is still a borderline hold in standard leagues but there could be a hot pickup available who has shown more consistency over the past couple of weeks.
Ntilikina will start at small forward in Wednesday's regular-season opener against the Hawks, Ian Begley of ESPN reports.
Ntilikina was originally battling for the starting point guard job with the likes of Trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay (ankle), but will apparently be shifted over to the wing to start the year. That allows Burke to start at point guard, while rookie Kevin Knox will surprisingly come off the bench despite starting at small forward for much of the preseason. This is a vote a confidence for Ntilikina, who's ability to play multiple positions should keep on the floor for significant minutes most nights.
The decision was an easy one for the Knicks after the No. 8 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft shined on the defensive end as a rookie. It's less certain if he'll realize his considerable upside on the other end of the court, but it's fair to expect him to take a step forward after he averaged 5.9 points, 3.2 assists and 0.6 three-pointers per game in 2017-18 while shooting 36.4 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from distance. Coach David Fizdale hasn't disclosed his starting lineup for the season opener Wednesday against the Hawks, but Ntilikina should be the first backcourt option off the bench if he doesn't start at point guard over Trey Burke.
Ntilikina will come off the bench during Friday's preseason finale against the Nets, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic reports.
Ron Baker will get the opportunity to start Friday, pushing Ntilikina to the bench. There's still been no indication from coach David Fizdale whether or not Ntilikina will start during the regular season.
Ntilikina tallied 10 points (4-7 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT), four rebounds, and two assists in 18 minutes during Monday's 110-98 loss to the Wizards.
Ntilikina drew the start at point guard. However, he wasn't able to stay on the floor for long, committing five fouls. Ntilikina hasn't played more than 20 minutes in any of the four preseason games, but he's still competing with Trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay for the starting gig. Regardless, it's likely that Ntilikina will end up sharing the floor with Burke or Mudiay from time to time.
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L 115-116 (OT)
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