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.
Payton, who was named the starter ahead of Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. after a long three-way battle during training camp, finished the game with three points, two rebounds and a steal in 21 minutes played.
Ntilikina played 22 minutes for his first impactful game of the season, having only appeared in the season opening loss to the Spurs prior to Monday night. He struggled with his shot and did not score in this one, but Fizdale, who kept the PG in the game late, said it wasn't about that for Ntilikina tonight.
"It didn't matter," Fizdale said on Ntilikina missing his shots. "His minutes were fantastic. He guarded, he set the tone early, he made some nice plays to set people up, he got us organized.
"The shots will fall for him, but the thing I'm proud of is he kept himself ready, like I knew he was. I was watching him, every day he wasn't playing he was in the gym getting a sweat and just letting me know 'coach, I'm ready when you need me.' So I was really proud of his effort."