Tag:

Frank Ntilikina

Breaking down the Knicks at MSG 00:00:49
Ian Begley reacts to David Fizdale's comments that the new Knicks might be pressing too much at Madison Square Garden

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

The Knicks are 1-3 at home and have lost their last two games at Madison Square Garden by a combined 42 points. David Fizdale thinks he knows at least one reason why the club has struggled at home. 

"Honestly I think they want to do so well for the fanbase I think they get tight. I really do," he said. "I've looked at all of the different things that have happened and I just feel like sometimes -- they really want to do well for the city. 

"With everything that's happened over the course of the last year, these guys want to play hard for the city, they want to win for the city. I just think sometimes when it starts to go the other way, they play not to lose instead of playing to win."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, Ian Begley
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Knicks walloped at home 00:01:53
Knicks coach David Fizdale, Marcus Morris Sr. and Bobby Portis on the team's inability to perform at a high level consistently

The Knicks returned home to Madison Square Garden in New York on Sunday after last week's two-game road trip and lost 108-87 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Sunday's game...

1) Taken by the Cavs just one spot in front of the Knicks' pick in the 2018 NBA draft, No. 8 overall selection Collin Sexton showed the Knicks what they missed out on. Sexton dropped a game-high 31 points -- also a season- and career-best scoring output -- shooting 10 of 16 from the field and going 5 for 8 on three-pointers to fuel Cleveland past New York. With the No. 9 overall pick, of course, the Knicks selected small forward Kevin Knox, who scored nine points and grabbed three rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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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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Porzingis praises Knicks 00:01:44
Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis had kind words about Frank Ntilikina and the Knicks team after suffering a 106-102 loss

From an individual standpoint, Kristaps Porzingis' first game against his former team was a success, but his strong effort wasn't enough, as the Knicks topped the Mavs 106-102 on Friday in Dallas.

Porzingis fouled out of the game with 30 seconds to play, but overall he showed exactly why the Knicks selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, scoring 28 points while adding nine rebounds and five blocks.

After the final whistle, Porzingis spoke with his former head coach David Fizdale near center court.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis
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Knicks edge Mavericks 106-102 00:01:39
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina praises his teammates support which helped lead to his big performance against the Dallas Mavericks.

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

DALLAS - Kristaps Porzingis' first game against the Knicks turned into a coming out party for Frank Ntilikina

The 21-year-old had 14 points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks in New York's win over Dallas. 

"This was his best game since he's been in the league," David Fizdale said after the win. "Just what he's been doing is getting better and better. Every game he becomes more confident. I'm really happy for the kid."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Knicks must build on Dallas win 00:01:23
SNY Insider Ian Begley analyzes the Knicks 106-102 win over Kristaps Porzingis and the Dallas Mavericks and what they can build on.

The Knicks held on to beat the Mavericks 106-102 on Friday night in their most impressive overall performance of the season. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Friday's game...

1) The Knicks seemed to find a rhythm offensively against the Mavs, as their hot shooting saw them out to a 12-point lead late in the third quarter. The Mavs answered back, though, and with 5:44 to go the game was tied at 92-92. But thanks to some timely offense and some smothering defense, the Knicks built their lead back up to 99-92 with under three to play. Down the stretch, the Knicks made just enough of their free throws to maintain a three-point lead, and with under 30 seconds to go, a Luka Doncic three with a foot on the halfcourt logo was off the mark, and the Knicks went on to win the game.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

The Knicks held on to beat the Mavericks 106-102 on Friday night in their most impressive overall performance of the season. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Friday's game...

1) The Knicks seemed to find a rhythm offensively against the Mavs, as their hot shooting saw them out to a 12-point lead late in the third quarter. The Mavs answered back, though, and with 5:44 to go the game was tied at 92-92. But thanks to some timely offense and some smothering defense, the Knicks built their lead back up to 99-92 with under three to play. Down the stretch, the Knicks made just enough of their free throws to maintain a three-point lead, and with under 30 seconds to go, a Luka Doncic three with a foot on the halfcourt logo was off the mark, and the Knicks went on to win the game.

 

2) Questions have been asked all season long about who on the team could step up to take over the reins as the team's starting point guard, and it's beginning to look more and more like Frank Ntilikina is the answer. The third-year guard once again showed an improved jump shot, as he went 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Ntilikina looked comfortable running the offense, played strong defense, and ended the night with 14 points, six rebounds, and four assists.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Oct 23, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris (13) blocks out San Antonio Spurs forward Trey Lyles (41) during the first half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports (Daniel Dunn)
Oct 23, 2019; San Antonio, TX, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris (13) blocks out San Antonio Spurs forward Trey Lyles (41) during the first half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports (Daniel Dunn)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

DALLAS - Marcus Morris says he's going to spend some time guarding Kristaps Porzingis on Friday night. 

He's six inches shorter than the Mavs forward, but he plans to use his strength as an advantage. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis, Mitchell Robinson, 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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 (Raj Mehta)
(Raj Mehta)

The Knicks (1-7) dropped their fourth straight game on Wednesday night, falling to the Pistons 122-102 in Detroit. >> Box Score

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

1) The Knicks led by three points about midway through the first quarter, but the Pistons answered right back on their next possession, and they held onto the lead for the rest of the game. In a game that featured only two lead changes, the Pistons controlled things for most of the night. Andre Drummond was a problem inside for the Knicks all night long, as he finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds. The Pistons as a team, meanwhile, shot 55.7% from the floor. What was just a five-point game at the half ended up becoming a 20-point win for the Pistons.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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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 PG Elfrid Payton will miss Wednesday's game against the Pistons and Friday's game against the Mavericks as he continues to deal with a hamstring injury, the team said Tuesday.

Payton has missed the Knicks' last three games -- against Orlando on Oct. 30, against the Celtics on Friday, and Kings on Sunday. 

The 25-year-old Payton has started at point guard multiple times this season, with Frank Ntilikina and Allonzo Trier also getting starts -- though Trier was paired in the backcourt with RJ Barrett and wasn't technically acting as a point guard. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina
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Knicks routed by Kings 00:01:16
Knicks coach David Fizdale and forward Julius Randle on the team's "crappy" effort in a 113-92 loss to the Sacramento Kings

The Knicks fell to 1-6 on the 2019-20 season after Sunday's 113-92 loss to the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden in New York. >> Box Score

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

1) Knicks head coach David Fizdale went with Bobby Portis over Mitchell Robinson at C and the move backfired. Portis posted two points on 1-of-6 shooting with six rebounds and an assist, and simply did not look like himself off the bench. On the other hand, Robinson gave 10 points and did not miss on four shots, plus two free throws. Robinson, who posted a plus-five result, also grabbed four rebounds.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett
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Fizdale likes Frank's growth 00:01:43
New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale was impressed with Frank Ntilikina's play on Friday and may start him again against the Kings.

The Knicks fell to the Celtics in a close game on Friday night, but one of the biggest bright spots for the team was the play of point guard Frank Ntilikina.

Since getting just over three combined minutes in the Knicks' first three games of the season, the former lottery pick has been seeing more and more playing time as of late, and in 37 minutes on Friday, the 21-year-old scored a season best 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting, knocking down a pair of three-pointers as well. He also had three rebounds, three steals, and two assists.

"Obviously he put a lot of work in his game, and it showed in the summer in FIBA and now it's carrying into the season, and like I've said, I've really been happy with him," head coach David Fizdale said of Ntilikina on Saturday.

"How can you not like Frank Ntilikina? That's how I look at it. His personality, the kid's a great kid, his personality, he's a class act, and he competes. Hopefully we can get back in front of our own crowd and he can have a good game."

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Oct 28, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) controls the ball against Chicago Bulls point guard Coby White (0) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 28, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina (11) controls the ball against Chicago Bulls point guard Coby White (0) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

After coming off the bench in three games this season, Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina got his first start of the season on Friday night on the road against the Boston Celtics.

With point guard Elfrid Payton out with a right hamstring injury and guard Dennis Smith Jr. out due to the death of his stepmother, it opened the door for Ntilikina to start.

Playing 37 minutes against the Celtics, the No. 8 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft scored 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting and recorded three rebounds, three steals, two assists, one block and one turnover in the team's 104-102 loss. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett
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Knicks lose heartbreaker 00:01:55
Knicks coach David Fizdale, RJ Barrett, Frank Ntilikina and Marcus Morris Sr. on Jayson Tatum's last second shot that beat them in Boston

The Knicks fought hard all night long, but a Jayson Tatum jumper gave the Celtics a 104-102 win on Friday. >> Box Score

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

1) After a scrappy first three quarters, the Celtics entered the fourth with a slim 75-74 lead. As both teams continued to go back and forth, the Celtics maintained an 84-82 lead with seven minutes to play. Later, after the Celtics pushed out to a four-point lead, Marcus Morris hit a clutch three to bring the Knicks back within one with under four to go. Then, Kemba Walker, the Bronx native, hit a huge three of his own to swing the momentum back to the Celtics. Morris would quickly answer with a three of his own.

In the final minute, Morris knocked down yet another big three to tie things up at 102-102. He finished with 29 points on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. With 4.7 seconds left, the Celtics inbounded the ball to Jayson Tatum, who knocked down a fall-away two-pointer to give the Celtics a 104-102 victory.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson
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Oct 30, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) drives past Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) and shoots a layup during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Oct 30, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) drives past Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) and shoots a layup during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Knicks had a poor shooting night from the floor, falling to the Magic 95-83 on Wednesday night. >> Box Score

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

1) Trailing by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, the Knicks fought back to tie the score 72-72 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. While neither team shot the ball well, Aaron Gordon hit a big three to put the Magic up 89-82 with under three minutes to play. On the Magic's next possession, Gordon came up with an easy put-back to stretch the lead to nine points. The Magic went on to win by 12 points in what was a poor shooting performance from the Knicks overall, who shot just 37.8% from the floor, and 22.6% from beyond the arc.

Tags: Damyean Dotson, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson
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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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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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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Knicks starting point guard Elfrid Payton exited Monday night's game against the Bulls with a sore right hamstring and did not return to the floor for New York.

"I'm not sure where it's at right now with Elfrid if he's going to be out or not," David Fizdale said at his press conference after the game. "I've got to wait and hear from the trainers."

The Knicks went with Frank Ntilikina and RJ Barrett as the primary ball handlers for the rest of the game, and pulled out their first win of the season after going on a 15-0 run late in the fourth quarter to pull off the 105-98 victory.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett
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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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Donovan Mitchell (Russell Isabella)
Donovan Mitchell (Russell Isabella)

If the Knicks could go back to the 2017 NBA Draft and re-pick at No. 8 overall, they'd probably jump on the chance to take Louisville G Donovan Mitchell

And ex-Knicks vice president Clarence Gaines Jr. admitted that to be the case instead of taking Frank Ntilikina

Gaines answered a statement from a Knicks fan on Twitter, where he suggested former team president Phil Jackson & Co. should have taken Mitchell. Gaines did more than just agree with the statement...

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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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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Knicks routed by Celtics 00:01:17
David Fizdale and RJ Barrett discuss the Knicks failure to respond in the 2nd half of their 118-95 loss to the Celtics in the home opener

The Knicks led at the half, but things fell apart in the second half and the Celtics came away with a 118-95 win. >> Box Score

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

1) RJ Barrett's Madison Square Garden debut got off to a strong start. In the first half, the third overall pick led all players in scoring with 15 points, including 2-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc. Barrett finished his night with 26 points, seven assists, and three rebounds.

2) The Knicks had a poor defensive showing against the Nets on Friday, but they showed signs of improvement against the Celtics. In the first half, the Knicks limited Boston to just 16-of-49 shooting, including just 6-of-25 from three-point range. The Knicks took a five-point lead into the half, but the Celtics answered with a strong third quarter, outscoring New York 36-25. In the fourth quarter, the Celtics pushed their lead up to 14, Bronx-native Kemba Walker leading the attack. Walker finished the night with a game-high 32 points, and was 7-of-12 from three-point range.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson
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David Fizdale will use the same starting five for the second game in a row on Saturday night against the Celtics, with Elfrid Payton getting the start at point guard.

Behind Payton, though, is where the real question remains.

While Payton has played well in his first two games, averaging 10.5 points, five assists and three rebounds in 25 minutes a game, point guard depth has been a huge question mark. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina
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Oct 25, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Julius Randle (30) shoots against Brooklyn Nets small forward Rodions Kurucs (00) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 25, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Julius Randle (30) shoots against Brooklyn Nets small forward Rodions Kurucs (00) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Here's how David Fizdale assessed what he saw from Julius Randle on Friday night: 

"He's pressing. I thought he was really pressing. He's one of our horses. I think a lot of it was just he was so hyped up for the game," Fizdale said. 

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Ian Begley
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Fizdale likes Knicks' grit 00:00:41
New York Knicks coach David Fizdale like the fight his team gave against the Nets after almost stealing a win on the road.

The Knicks fought back valiantly, but came up short in their 113-109 loss to the Nets on Friday. >> Box Score

Six things to know from Friday's game...

1) The Nets controlled the game through the first three quarters, leading by as many as 19 points. But in the fourth, the Knicks stormed back. Wayne Ellington came off the bench to knock down three huge threes with around four minutes to play. The third put the Knicks up 107-106, which was their first lead since it was 2-0. With the Knicks up 109-108 and time running down, Kyrie Irving hit a step-back three to put the Nets up by two with 21.9 seconds left. The Nets would go on to close things out for the win. 

2) Mitchell Robinson was back in the starting lineup for the Knicks after missing the season opener due to an ankle injury. He made his presence known quickly in the first few minutes, blocking a shot and nearly slamming down a ferocious dunk over Jarrett Allen. Overall, though, Robinson showed some signs of rust. He finished the night with six points, seven rebounds, one block, and five personal fouls.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
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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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Barrett reflects on his debut 00:00:50
New York Knicks rookie guard RJ Barrett discusses how it felt to play in his first NBA game despite it being a loss to the Spurs.

The Knicks dropped their regular season opener to the San Antonio Spurs,120-111, on Wednesday night. >> Box Score

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

1) Before the game, David Fizdale announced that RJ Barrett would be starting in the backcourt, the Knicks head coach said that RJ was ready for the moment, and the third overall pick proved that in the early going. Barrett looked more than ready for the moment in his NBA debut, showing off his ability to attack the basket and convert on the fastbreak. Barrett finished his NBA debut with 21 points, five rebounds and two assists. The rookie shot 9-of-13 from the floor and was 1-of-3 from three-point range.

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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)

SAN ANTONIO - All the players battling for the Knicks' starting point guard spot will be coming off the bench to start the season. 

David Fizdale is going with a starting lineup of RJ Barrett, Allonzo Trier, Marcus Morris, Julius Randle, and Bobby Portis to start the season.

"I just like that combination of RJ and Allonzo Trier together," Fizdale said before tipoff of the Knicks' season-opener against the Spurs.

Tags: Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson, 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 | 

SAN ANTONIO -- Mitchell Robinson will miss Wednesday's season-opener with a right ankle injury but there is reason to believe the injury isn't serious. Robinson, the second-year center, is wearing a walking boot, but he said Wednesday that it was just a precautionary measure.

David Fizdale is optimistic that Robinson can return for Friday's road game against the Brooklyn Nets.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, 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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Ntilikina talks about option 00:00:31
New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina is happy the Knicks chose to pick up his option keeping him with the team through 2021.

The Knicks' front office has decided to pick up the option on Frank Ntilikina's contract for the 2020-21 season, the team announced.

Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox, New York's 2019 first-round pick, also had their options exercised. Ntilikina will make around $6.2 million next season, while Smith gets $5.6 million and Knox receives $4.58 million.

Because of his performance in his first two NBA seasons, the decision surrounding Ntilikina's option was a question for the Knicks heading into the new season.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, 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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RJ Barrett
RJ Barrett

During the second half of New York's 100-96 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, R.J. Barrett received a handoff from Wayne Ellington on the right wing to set up a side pick-and-roll with Taj Gibson. Two Hawks swarmed the rookie, who snuck a pass out to the weak side leading to a Kevin Knox drive and trip to the free throw line.

Soon after, the Knicks ran the same play for Barrett, only this time he expected the trap, backing up and sending Atlanta's defenders scrambling into a switch, allowing him to attack the basket and draw a foul. 

After a coach's challenge, the whistle was overturned, but these two plays signify how quick Barrett is picking up the NBA game. The 19-year-old is looking much more comfortable with every game, leading to head coach David Fizdale giving him minutes at the point guard position, when Barrett was able to make plays like the one above.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox
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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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Knicks come up short vs Hawks 00:01:44
David Fizdale, Julius Randle and Frank Ntilikina on the Knicks 100-96 pre-season loss to Atlanta

The Knicks fell to the Atlanta Hawks, 100-96, on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. >> Box Score

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

1) David Fizdale started Dennis Smith Jr. at point guard, as the coach said before the game that he wanted to mix up the starting lineup. Smith Jr.'s night did not get off to a great start, as he quickly picked up two fouls in the first three minutes, finding himself back on the bench in a hurry. Frank Ntilikina was then called upon off the bench. Like Smith Jr. though, Ntilikina was not very impressive. The duo combined for just six points. Meanwhile, Elfrid Payton did not play. Ntilikina did come up with a pair of key defensive plays in the game's fiinal minutes. 

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Mitchell Robinson
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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 9, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Justin Anderson (7) dribbles the ball against the Guangzhou Loong-Lions during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Oct 9, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Justin Anderson (7) dribbles the ball against the Guangzhou Loong-Lions during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Did Justin Anderson have any extra motivation against Marcus Morris and the Knicks on Friday night?

"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't. Obviously, there's been a lot of talk about (Morris hitting him in the head with the ball). My biggest thing is making sure I go out there and whatever opportunity I get, making sure I play hard defensively, compete defensively," Anderson said. "And offensively, I told my brother, I'm just trying to kill. So I'm glad I played that way and maintained my composure and handled it like class."

Anderson had 15 points in 19 minutes off the bench for the Wizards, who knocked down 46 percent of their 3-point attempts in a 16-point win. Earlier in the week, Morris was ejected from a game against the Wizards for hitting Anderson in the head with an elbow and then hitting Anderson in the face with the ball.  

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Ian Begley
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Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris (13) shoots over Washington Wizards guard Ish Smith (14) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Knicks forward Marcus Morris (13) shoots over Washington Wizards guard Ish Smith (14) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

A day after Julius Randle responded to Kevin Durant's critique of the Knicks, teammate Marcus Morris chimed in. 


 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

David Fizdale plans to use several different lineups in the preseason. So we may see a different starting five when New York plays Washington on Friday at Madison Square Garden. 

But Fizdale gave some interesting insight when he answered a question about his starting lineup for Monday's preseason opener.

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, Ian Begley
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Frank Ntilikina
Frank Ntilikina

Ian Begley, SNY.tv Twitter | 

Frank Ntilikina spent some time in Dallas over the summer, training for the NBA season and the FIBA World Cup. David Fizdale flew to Texas for a visit with Ntilikina in July. At one point, the coach shared a simple, poignant message with his young guard: "We've got a lot of confidence in you, play free, leave everything behind you."

Ntilikina seemed to do just that with the French National team. He started at guard for the club and his play -- which included a clutch performance against Team USA -- propelled them to a bronze medal in the World Cup.

"It gives you a lot of confidence," Ntilikina said of his World Cup success. "But I say now: it's a new start with a new team with the Knicks. So it's another competition."

Tags: Frank Ntilikina, 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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