Tag:

Dennis Smith Jr.

Ntilikina building confidence 00:01:26
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina and his teammates believe they can compete with anyone but just need to be more consistent shooting.

While the Knicks ultimately fell down the stretch of Wednesday's 109-104 loss to the Sixers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, New York emerged with optimism after Frank Ntilikina's performance.

Ntilikina's season-high 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including three free throws and two triples, in 32:54 fueled the Knicks (4-11) before the Sixers (9-5) came back for the fourth-quarter triumph.

David Fizdale's decision to substitute Ntilikina late in the third quarter hindered the Knicks during the Sixers' eventual 23-3 run from the 3:20 mark of the third to the 9:00 point of the fourth, turning a 77-60 Knicks lead to an 83-82 Sixers edge, but the third-year point guard defended his second-year head coach's move after the game.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina
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Begley talks Randle improvement 00:01:35
SNY NBA insider Ian Begley on the improved performance of Julius Randle keying a possible Knicks turnaround

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

When Julius Randle watched tape of his games early on this season, he knew what was going wrong. He knew he was over dribbling at times, struggling with the double and triple teams being thrown his way. But nothing changed on the court. 

"He kept burning his hand on the stove and not learning his lesson," David Fizdale said. "I think, you burn it enough, you're like, 'OK, I've got to make this change.'"

Change started to come for Randle and the Knicks on Monday. Randle had 30 points, seven rebounds and four assists in New York's win over Cleveland in easily his best game as a Knick. 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier

Hornets G Terry Rozier had himself a fine night at Madison Square Garden in what became a tough 103-102 loss for the Knicks on Saturday night. But there was a point in time, back in the offseason, where Rozier thought he would be part of the home team.

Rozier had the Knicks in mind during his search for a new team in free agency. He had proven his worth as the Celtics' sixth man, and was ready to get paid. New York certainly had the cap space, but they didn't shell out enough of it. 

"It was probably one of my first options," Rozier told The Post's Marc Berman. "I probably was going to make it happen. Other things happened and I ended up going to Charlotte. It was the interest they showed in me, that was big. The organization believed in me, why not."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina
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Knicks edged by Hornets 00:01:19
Knicks coach David Fizdale, Frank Ntilikina and RJ Barrett on team's failure to hold a lead in the 103-102 loss to Charlotte

The Knicks (3-10) couldn't hold on again Saturday night, as they blew a double-digit third quarter lead and ultimately fell 103-102 to the Hornets (6-7) on a go-ahead three-pointer. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game...

1) Once again, the Knicks allowed one player--this time Devonte Graham--go off on them and crush their spirits. Graham, a 2018 second round pick out of Kanas, hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 2.1 second left to send the Knicks packing. Graham scored 26 points and hit a stunning nine three-pointers to shut the Knicks down on their home floor.

 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Knicks look to get on roll 00:01:15
David Fizdale, Dennis Smith Jr. and Mitchell Robinson on using Dallas win to get on a roll and Smith's timely inspiration in the victory

The Knicks earned their third win of the season on Thursday night, beating the Mavs 106-103, as two of their wins have come against Dallas.

Head coach David Fizdale talked about the team's struggles at home earlier this week, and also mentioned what went wrong after beating the Mavs on Nov. 11.

"I don't think it was complacency. I really don't," Fizdale said on Friday. "I really felt like this team is just trying to do so well for the city. I really do. Their intentions are right. They're trying to carry the weight of the city on their shoulders. I just told them you can't do that. I said it's an impossible task. You've got to focus on who's around you in the locker room and put forth effort for the people in the locker room and the city will appreciate that kind of effort. So hopefully we learned that lesson from last night."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Dennis Smith Jr. breaking out? 00:00:58
SNY NBA insider Ian Begley on whether Dennis Smith Jr.'s outstanding performance against Dallas could be a sign of things to come

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

After the Knicks' win over the Mavericks on Thursday, Dennis Smith Jr. spent some time reflecting at his locker. 

"It was kind of bittersweet for me, beating the team that traded me but my stepmom wasn't here to see it," Smith Jr. said. "…. I had to take some time out to myself and really digest something like that. She watched every game. Every single game. Even when I was in college.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A couple weeks ago, Frank Ntilikina walked into David Fizdale's office, unannounced, and delivered a message: 

"He just said, 'Coach, I've been through a lot in my two years. I feel like I finally understand what the NBA is about. I know I haven't shown it yet, but I'm a dog, too,'" Fizdale said. "It was so cool to hear him say that. And (Thursday against Dallas) he showed that he is really a junkyard dog when it comes to competition."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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Dennis Smith Jr. has been through his share of adversity this season. After an injury during training camp, a death in the family took the guard away from the team for two weeks.

On Thursday night, Smith Jr. shined for the Knicks as the team topped the Mavs 106-103 for their second win against Kristaps Porzingis this season. 

In just his second game back with the team, Smith Jr. scored 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting, and also had a team-high eight assists to go along with six rebounds in 29 minutes.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Kristaps Porzingis
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Knicks react to MSG atmosphere 00:01:43
The Knicks beat the Mavericks 106-103. The atmosphere was great and players acknowledged the passion of Knicks fans.

The Knicks (3-9) faced the Dallas Mavs (6-5) for the second time this season, winning again, this time 106-103 as former Knick Kristaps Porzingis made his return to Madison Square Garden >> Box Score

Here are Five Takeaway's from Thursday's game...

1) Marcus Morris led the way for the Knicks in scoring with 20 points, including a go-ahead three pointer with 13.4 seconds left in the game. He was 5-for-7 from three in the game, and had five rebounds in 34 minutes.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson
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 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

Dennis Smith Jr. was back in the Knicks lineup on Tuesday night against the Bulls, but it wasn't the return he hoped for. 

Though it was his first game back since Oct. 26 after the passing of his stepmother, Smith saw 14 minutes of playing time by head coach David Fizdale. And that time on the court, it was apparent Smith hadn't played in a game recently. 

He went 0-for-3 from the field while committing two turnovers. Smith did, however, dish out two assists and collected two steals on the night. 

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 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Knicks (2-9) faced the Bulls (4-7) for a second time in the early season, but weren't able to get the win this time around, as Chicago pulled away in the fourth quarter to take a 120-102 victory>> Box Score

Here are Five Takeaway's from Tuesday's game...

1) Just as they did in their first matchup with the Bulls, the Knicks came back from a double-digit first half deficit to make things interesting by the end of the third with things tied at 85 heading into the fourth quarter. But rookie PG Coby White just exploded in the fourth quarter, hitting seven 3-pointers to break the Bulls back out to a double-digit lead, as the Knicks just had no answer for them in the last 12 minutes of play. White set a Bulls franchise record for 3-pointers in a quarter with seven and scored a career-high 27 points.

 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) dribbles the ball against Orlando Magic forward Wesley Iwundu (25) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) dribbles the ball against Orlando Magic forward Wesley Iwundu (25) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Dennis Smith Jr. will make his return to the Knicks' lineup on Tuesday night, per The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov

Smith has been out since Oct. 26, as he has been with his family grieving the loss of his stepmother. The Knicks were giving him all the time he needed before making his return to the team. 

Smith has been back with the Knicks since last week, and it was believed that he may be able to play against the Mavericks on Friday night. However, the team wanted to make sure he was game-ready, and decided to wait until Tuesday against the Bulls. 

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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

David Fizdale hasn't decided yet if Frank Ntilikina will start at point guard when Elfrid Payton is healthy. But it certainly sounds like Fizdale will keep Ntilikina in the starting lineup when Payton returns -- as long as he and the Knicks are playing well. 

Here's what Fizdale said when asked on Sunday if Payton, who has missed the last six games with a hamstring injury, will start at point guard when he returns to the lineup:  

"I'm going to base it on how things are going for us at the time when he gets back," Fizdale said. "If things are going well, we'll probably stay with what we're doing. If for some reason it's not, maybe we'll look at putting him back in there. But we won't make that decision until the time comes."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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Oct 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) drives to the basket as Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) defends during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) drives to the basket as Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) defends during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Smith Jr. will be inactive for the Knicks Friday night as they face Kristaps Porzingis and the Mavericks in Dallas.

Smith Jr, who was a part of the trade that sent Porzingis to Dallas, hasn't played for the Knicks since Oct. 26, after suffering the loss of a family member that same night. Smith Jr. returned to the team earlier this week after being absent to mourn with his family.

Between Smith Jr.'s absence and Elfrid Payton's hamstring injury, Frank Ntilikina has been starting at the point guard position for the Knicks. Although the lineups haven't been released for Friday's game, Ntilikina should be expected to start.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis
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Knicks need to start winning 00:02:14
SNY Insider Ian Begley doesn't see anything imminent but if the Knicks underachieve more, owner James Dolan could make front office changes.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks are in Dallas to play Kristaps Porzingis and the Mavs on Friday for the first time since the trade. So there will be plenty written and said about the deal over the next couple of days. 

Below, let's try to separate fact from opinion: 

Tags: DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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Oct 11, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Washington Wizards guard Justin Robinson (5) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 11, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) drives to the basket against Washington Wizards guard Justin Robinson (5) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Through the past two games, Knicks head coach David Fizdale has given Frank Ntilikina the start at point guard. And it doesn't look like he has a choice yet again against the Pistons on Wednedsay night. 

Elfrid Payton has been dealing with a hamstring injury, and he has already been ruled out during this two-game road trip in Detroit and Dallas. Also, Dennis Smith Jr. has yet to return as he continues to be with his family following the passing of his stepmother. 

So Ntilikina should get the start against the Pistons. But, no matter the loss of the other point guards in the system, how long should Fizdale keep him in that role? 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett, Scott Thompson
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Fizdale going back to Robinson 00:01:47
New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale will go back to starting Mitchell Robinson at center especially against Pistons' Andre Drummond

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Mitchell Robinson will start at center on Wednesday against Detroit. The Knicks want Robinson defending Pistons big man Andre Drummond. This will be the fifth different starting lineup for New York in eight games. 

Some of the lineup shifts are due to injury (Elfrid Payton) and others are the result of David Fizdale and his staff trying to figure out New York's optimal player groupings. 

Experimenting with different lineups during the season isn't ideal. In a perfect world, teams have lineups and rotations set coming into the season. But that's rare in today's NBA, where there's so much roster turnover every summer. Depending on the night, the Knicks (1-6) could have six players in their rotation who weren't on the team last season.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Knicks starting point guard Elfird Payton has been ruled out for Wednesday night's road game against the Magic with a strained right hamstring. 

Payton, who exited Monday night's game against the Bulls after suffering the injury, traveled with the Knicks to Orlando in hopes of playing, but now has officially been ruled out.

Payton has averaged 8.0 points and 3.8 assists per game through four games in a Knicks uniform.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett
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Mar 4, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) walks off the court during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports (Sergio Estrada)
Mar 4, 2019; Sacramento, CA, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) walks off the court during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports (Sergio Estrada)

Knicks team president Steve Mills spoke for the entire organization on Tuesday when he offered condolences to Dennis Smith Jr. and Reggie Bullock, who both lost close family members. 

"Our Knicks family is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of two of our players' close family members," the official statement read. "At times like this, we are reminded that life is bigger than basketball. Our thoughts are with them and their families."

The Knicks announced that Smith lost his stepmother, while Bullock lost his sister. 

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Breaking down the Knicks 1st win 00:01:02
Ian Begley breaks down the Knicks win where Bobby Portis was clutch and everything clicked including defense to end the game on a 15-0 run.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

In the NBA, teams usually get the day off after playing two consecutive games. But the Knicks lost in Brooklyn on Friday and were embarrassed at home by Boston on Saturday, so they lost the luxury of an off day on Sunday. 

"Coach Fiz was on our tails yesterday," Bobby Portis said. "We were supposed to have an off-day….We came in and still put the work in."

The work wasn't apparent early on Monday against Chicago. But a key adjustment in the second half - and some timely shooting from Portis - helped New York rebound from a 18-point deficit to win for the first time this season. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett, Wayne Ellington, Ian Begley
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Oct 23, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) moves in against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 23, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (11) moves in against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

With Dennis Smith Jr. out Monday night against the Bulls, David Fizdale has tapped Frank Ntilikina as the "next man up" and expects the point guard to see a jump in minutes. 

"Next man up and that's Frank," Fizdale said at a press conference before the game. "Frank's been doing a great job of keeping himself prepared and ready for this. He'll get his feet wet tonight."

Although the circumstances for Smith Jr's absence are unfortunate--he suffered a loss of a family member last Saturday night--Knicks fans will surely rejoice at the upgrade in Ntilikina's minutes.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina
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Oct 28, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) and Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (1) during the second half at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports  (Kevin Jairaj)
Oct 28, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) and Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (1) during the second half at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Jairaj)

While the Knicks were losing to the Celtics on Saturday night, fans at The Garden were chanting "WE WANT FRANK!" as a plead for Frank Ntilikina to get more minutes in head coach David Fizdale's lineup. 

The main reason that chant occurred in the first place was due to Dennis Smith Jr.'s early struggles with the Knicks this season. Smith is 1-for-11 from the field with three total points over 26 total minutes of play this year.

Well, Jazz star PG Donovan Mitchell doesn't want to hear it. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Scott Thompson
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Dennis Smith Jr. will miss Monday's game against the Chicago Bulls due to the death of a family member over the weekend, according to an SNY source.

Smith Jr. was incredibly close with the family member, who had helped raise him from a young age, per a source.

It's unclear when the guard will be back with the team while he mourns the loss, an SNY source said, which, of course, is understandable.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Ian Begley
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Oct 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) drives to the basket as Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) defends during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) drives to the basket as Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams (12) defends during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Three games into the season, David Fizdale already has a tough issue to sort out: how to get Dennis Smith Jr. going. 

The Knicks' backup point guard has missed 10 of 11 shots to start the season.  

"It seems like he's overthinking it. And he's pressing," Fizdale said after the Knicks' 24-point loss to Boston on Saturday. "It's funny how it works when you work on something so much, and it doesn't click for you right away how that can get to you. But he'll keep working at it and getting better at it."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Fizdale expects Mitch to play 00:00:35
New York Knicks coach David Fizdale said he expects Mitchell Robinson to play Friday. RJ Barrett says he's comfortable playing point guard.

Knicks touted first-round pick RJ Barrett could have asked for a better NBA debut down in San Antonio on Wednesday night. He dropped 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting with five rebounds, two assists, and two steals to go along with it. 

The Knicks may have lost the contest to the Spurs, but seeing Barrett come out and show his poised, confident nature he was drafted for along with his skill set was certainly a win for the organization. Barrett's point total alone also made him the second-youngest player behind LeBron James to collected 20 or more points in his rookie debut.

But how did it compare to other first rounders the Knicks have drafted in the past? Here are the most recent first-rounders from the Knicks, and how they fared in their much-anticipated debuts...

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Scott Thompson
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

David Fizdale says he has to watch the film of Wednesday's 120-111 loss to the Spurs before he decides who will start at point guard for the Knicks on Friday.

But it sounded like Elfrid Payton had earned the job.

"Elfrid absolutely put his foot forward, took it to heart and ramped up the competition," Fizdale said after the Knicks lost in San Antonio. "Like I said, I'm going to keep an open mind of this and whoever fights their way out of the pile, that's who's going to get the nod."

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Jan 25, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier (14) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jan 25, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier (14) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks may have to change their lineups for opening night due to Mitchell Robinson's ankle injury.

Robinson sprained his right ankle in practice on Monday and is questionable for the Knicks' regular-season opener against the Spurs on Wednesday.

Prior to the injury, RJ Barrett, Marcus Morris and Julius Randle were expected to start against San Antonio. That may remain the case, but if Robinson can't play, Randle could slide to center. The Knicks could also start Bobby Portis at center in place of Robinson. Taj Gibson is another option, but he is currently questionable with a sore right calf.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks onto the court during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks onto the court during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

No decision on PG 

David Fizdale plans to name his starting lineup on Wednesday prior to the season opener against San Antonio. He said that scrimmages during the Knicks' final practices on Monday and Tuesday will factor in to who he chooses to start at point guard.

Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina and Elfrid Payton are competing for the position.

Smith Jr. missed nearly 10 days of training camp/preseason and showed some rust in the Knicks' final two preseason games. Fizdale said Smith Jr. has made shots during scrimmages, and the idea that he's a bit out of rhythm will factor in to Fizdale's decision on the starting point guard.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks may not know who their starting point guard is yet, but it's seems like they have shooting guard figured out. 

Rookie R.J. Barrett locked that position up with a strong performance in the Knicks' preseason finale on Friday. He had 19 points (9-for-12 shooting), six rebounds and three assists in a loss to New Orleans. 

"He's a very good player," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said Friday night. "…. Good scorer. He's obviously worked on his body and gotten stronger. I think that's gonna help. He's a playmaker. He's a kid that's learning the game and I think you can see he's going to be a really really good player in this league for a lot of years." 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Mar 10, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Mar 10, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Frank Ntilikina will likely sit out of Friday's preseason finale on Friday so the Knicks can see more of Elfrid Payton and Dennis Smith Jr. at point guard. 

"Frank has played three (games), Elfrid has played two, Dennis is now going to play two, so I feel like I'm getting them all (playing time)," David Fizdale said Thursday. "… I feel like I gave all three guys ample opportunity to show what he can do."

Fizdale is choosing among Ntilikina, Payton and Smith Jr. for his starting point guard. Smith Jr. missed about ten days with a back ailment during preseason and looked rusty during his preseason debut Wednesday. He should get plenty of minutes on Friday against New Orleans. 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Ian Begley
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Wednesday's game didn't provide much clarity in the Knicks' starting point guard competition.

Dennis Smith Jr. was out of rhythm in his preseason debut, shooting 1-for-5 in 20 minutes. Elfrid Payton was a DNP, by design. And Frank Ntilikina defended well but didn't provide the offensive spark that David Fizdale said he's looking for in his starting point guard.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) dribbles the ball against Orlando Magic forward Wesley Iwundu (25) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) dribbles the ball against Orlando Magic forward Wesley Iwundu (25) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

When Dennis Smith Jr. takes the floor on Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks, the stakes will be a little higher than your average preseason game. His performance in the Knicks' final two preseason games will factor heavily into who New York starts at point guard on opening night. Smith Jr. -- who missed the Knicks' first two preseason games with a back ailment -- is competing against Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina for the starting position.

On Wednesday, New York will get a chance to evaluate Smith Jr.'s new shot for the first time in a formal game setting. They'll also see how he plays with a lighter frame.

Below, Shawn Farmer, Smith Jr.'s former trainer and an ex-pro himself, discusses Smith Jr.'s shot, his new frame and some other topics, including the NCAA recruiting scandal: 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Knicks prep for pre-season game 00:01:03
David Fizdale, RJ Barrett and Frank Ntilikina on points of emphasis in practice ahead of Wednesday's night's pre-season game vs Atlanta

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

We'll learn a lot about the Knicks starting point guard position this week (more on that below), but don't be surprised if you see RJ Barrett handling the ball at times for New York. 

"I've thrown him at that position a couple times already," David Fizdale said Tuesday. "He played some of that in college. I think it adds another layer to how dynamic he can be. Especially having somebody that big that can switch things do some different things defensively. So yeah, I'll sprinkle that in."

Fizdale has mentioned Barrett, Julius Randle and Marcus Morris as potential non-point guard ball-handlers in his offense.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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New York Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry speak to the media on media day at MSG Training Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry speak to the media on media day at MSG Training Center. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

If you've seen LeBron James' comments on the NBA-China controversy (and the reaction to those comments), you know that the ripple effects of Daryl Morey's tweet in support of demonstrators in Hong Kong will be felt for some time. 

There's plenty to unpack with this story: free speech issues, the NBA -- and many other companies -- conducting business with a country that critics say has a history of oppressing dissent, and the potential financial fallout for the league and its players from losing revenue from the business they do in China. 

It's way too early to predict how much revenue the league may lose in the aftermath of last week's events. But the lost revenue -- if it's high enough -- will have a tangible impact on the Knicks. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Knicks on roster changes 00:01:21
Knicks coach David Fizdale and forwards Julius Randle and Kevin Knox talk about this year's roster coming together

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Dennis Smith Jr. is expected to make his preseason debut on Wednesday against the Hawks, which adds a layer of intrigue to the Knicks' starting point guard competition.

Smith Jr. missed New York's first two preseason games due to a back strain. He returned to practice over the weekend and, barring a setback, will make his preseason debut on Wednesday.

The Knicks had taken a cautious approach with Smith Jr.'s ailment.

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Ian Begley
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Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) reacts after making a basket during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) reacts after making a basket during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Here are a few takeaways from the Knicks' 104-99 win over the Wizards:

MORRIS EJECTED: Marcus Morris was ejected 13 seconds into the second half for doing something you don't see often. First, he appeared to hit Justin Anderson, his defender, with an elbow when he swung his arms through to create space. That happens regularly in the NBA. Here's the odd part. He then hit Anderson in the head with the ball and started jawing with him. He received a flagrant-two, presumably for the whole sequence.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Fizdale announces starting five 00:01:25
David Fizdale announced his starting five ahead of the preseason matchup with the Wizards. Dennis Smith Jr. elaborated on his back injury.

New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Based on what we've heard from players at Knicks training camp, defense has been a priority this week. You'll get your first look at the Knicks' defense in action on Monday when they open the preseason in Washington.

Something to expect? Ball pressure. That's been a point of emphasis during camp.

"Me and all my teammates, we pay a lot of attention to pressuring the ball on defense. And not letting the opposing team be comfortable offensively," Frank Ntilikina, one of the team's top defenders, said Sunday. "So yes, you will see that from the Knicks."

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Jul 13, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) is pictured during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Washington Wizards at Cox Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)
Jul 13, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks forward RJ Barrett (9) is pictured during the second half of an NBA Summer League game against the Washington Wizards at Cox Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen R. Sylvanie)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A few notes and observations from Knicks training camp on Thursday:

RJ Barrett spent some time talking to Hall of Famer Bernard King on Thursday.

King didn't want to reveal too much about the conversation, but he seems impressed by the Knicks' No. 3 overall pick.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Evaluating Frank Ntilikina 00:00:56
Ian Begley addresses the strong showing from Frank Ntilikina after a good summer playing for France. Also, Dennis Smith Jr. turned heads.

A lot has changed for Knicks PG Dennis Smith Jr. this summer. And it wasn't just his jumper. 

Smith spoke to the media at practice Wednesday, and he admitted being down about 15 pounds since the end of last season. The Knicks had told him to cut weight, and he did just that. 

Of course, that came with some food sacrifices.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, Scott Thompson
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Frank Ntilikina ready for season 00:02:20
New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina feels some added confidence in his game after competing in the FIBA World Cup this summer.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Frank Ntilikina learned something important about himself during France's run to the bronze medal in the FIBA World Cup:

"How good I can be playing basketball," the guard said on Wednesday. "It's simple on both sides of the court. A competition like that brought me a lot of confidence."

If Ntilikina can play with the kind of confidence/competence in New York that he showed with the French National Team last month, maybe he earns a spot in David Fizdale's rotation.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Knicks front office speaks 00:02:21
New York Knicks president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry explain their offseason roster construction and why they missed on big free agents.

It's Knicks Media Day out in Tarrytown, NY, and it's also the first time team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry discussed their free agency moves. 

The result wasn't what Knicks fans were hoping for, as the superstars like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and others found their way to different teams. However, Mills and Perry had multiple plans in place if something like this were to go down. 

So the roster that they have put together with training camp kicking off tomorrow is one that they did envision when prepping for free agency.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett, Scott Thompson
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Dennis Smith Jr. (Brad Penner)
Dennis Smith Jr. (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

How does Dennis Smith Jr.'s new shot look in five-on-five scrimmages?

"It's a lot better," David Fizdale said on Tuesday. "It's a lot less movement, it's more efficient. He put in a lot of time on the fundamentals this summer. But it's a process. He'll have days where it's not as great. But I think consistently now he's got a shot that has a better chance of going in."

Smith Jr. has worked extensively on his shot this summer with Knicks assistant coach Keith Smart. He shot 42 percent overall and 32 percent from beyond the arc this season. The Knicks, obviously, would like to see those percentages increase in Smith Jr.'s third NBA season.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Breaking down Knicks practice 00:00:45
Ian Begley breaks down the Knicks first day of Training Camp. Robinson says he's ready to hit 3's while Barrett is working on everything.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

How does Dennis Smith Jr.'s new shot look in five-on-five scrimmages?

"It's a lot better," David Fizdale said on Tuesday. "It's a lot less movement, it's more efficient. He put in a lot of time on the fundamentals this summer. But it's a process. He'll have days where it's not as great. But I think consistently now he's got a shot that has a better chance of going in."

Smith Jr. has worked extensively on his shot this summer with Knicks assistant coach Keith Smart. He shot 42 percent overall and 32 percent from beyond the arc this season. The Knicks, obviously, would like to see those percentages increase in Smith Jr.'s third NBA season.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett, Ian Begley
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Mar 9, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) controls the ball against Sacramento Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox (5) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 9, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) controls the ball against Sacramento Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox (5) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Knicks extended their most recent losing streak to six games on Saturday, falling to the Sacramento Kings in a matinee at Madison Square Garden, 102-94. > Box Score

Things to know about Saturday's game

1) The Knicks had absolutely no answer for Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox. The 21-year-old finished with 30 points, eight assists and five rebounds. After the Knicks took a brief 89-87 lead with six minutes remaining in the game, Fox responded by scoring 13 of the Kings' final 16 points en route to close out the victory for Sacramento. 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Allonzo Trier, Phoenix Suns
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The Knicks officially own the worst record in the NBA after the Suns took them down 107-96 on the road Wednesday night. >> Box score

Things to know about Wednesday's game

1) In this battle of the worsts, it was Devin Booker that shined above the rest for Phoenix. He dropped a whopping 41 points on 14-for-23 from the field and a perfect 7-for-7 mark at the free throw line. Booker also dished out four assists, collected five boards, and had two steals and one block. It was a true All-Star performance from the Kentucky product. 

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Allonzo Trier, Phoenix Suns
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New York Knicks guard Damyean Dotson shoots the ball over Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. (Sergio Estrada/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Knicks guard Damyean Dotson shoots the ball over Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. (Sergio Estrada/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks moved into sole possession of last place in the NBA after they lost to the Sacramento Kings 115-108 on Monday at Golden 1 Center. >> Box score

Things to know about Monday's game

1. The Knicks trailed by four midway through the third quarter, but Sacramento went on a 21-11 run that bled into the fourth to take a 94-80 lead with 10:04 remaining.

2. Coupled with the Suns' upset win over the Milwaukee Bucks, who own the NBA's best record, the Knicks fell to 13-51, 0.5 games behind Phoenix in the standings.

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Allonzo Trier, Sacramento Kings
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Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari guards New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. under the basket in the first half of the game at Staples Center. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari guards New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. under the basket in the first half of the game at Staples Center. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks trailed by as many as 38 points as they were blown out by the Los Angeles Clippers 128-107 on Sunday at Staples Center. >> Box score

Things to know about Sunday's game

1. New York trailed 38-20 at the end of the first quarter and 82-46 at halftime. Los Angeles went on a 44-22 run that lasted nearly the entire second quarter to take an 82-44 lead.

2. Damyean Dotson and Noah Vonleh each scored 17 points for the Knicks, who "trail" the Phoenix Suns by 0.5 games for the worst record in the league

Tags: Dennis Smith Jr., Damyean Dotson, Los Angeles Clippers
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Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier (14) shoots against Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Feb 26, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier (14) shoots against Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Knicks battled their way back in the second half to secure their first back-to-back wins since November in a 108-103 victory over the Magic on Tuesday night. >> Box score

Things to know about Sunday's game

1) Rookie C Mitchell Robinson was a force for the Knicks tonight on his way to setting a new career high with 17 points. He also collected six blocks, becoming the first Knicks rookie to record five or more in consecutive games since the 1973-74 seasons when blocks became an observed stat. Add 14 rebounds for a double-double, and Robinson's production continues to rise in what's becoming an eye-opening rookie campaign.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., Mitchell Robinson, Orlando Magic, Scott Thompson
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Feb 28, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier (14) goes to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson (8) and guard Matthew Dellavedova (18) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Feb 28, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier (14) goes to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson (8) and guard Matthew Dellavedova (18) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Knicks were dominant for most of this contest, but the Cavaliers had a fourth-quarter surge that snapped the team's win streak in New York's 125-118 loss on their home court on Thursday night. >> Box score

Things to know about Sunday's game

1) Allonzo Trier was the Knicks' leading scorer, as the team had another strong performance from their bench. Trier dropoped 22 on 8-of-15 shooting with four rebounds and one assist over 32 minutes. Overall, the Knicks' bench scored 59 points as they come off a 75-point game against the Magic on Tuesday.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., Mitchell Robinson, Cleveland Cavaliers, Scott Thompson
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