Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek dismissed the idea of demoting rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina to G League Westchester after he has been held scoreless two of the past three games.
"We don't talk about that stuff," Hornacek said after Sunday's 127-107 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "Frank has been in the rotation all year. So there's no reason to do that. There's going to be ups and downs as a rookie. ... They're going to have a lack of confidence at times when they're not playing, but I don't see that in Frank."
Since coming three rebounds shy of a triple-double in last week's win over the Nets, the 19-year-old rookie didn't score in the next two games and scored seven points in Sunday's game.
Ntilikina went 0-for-6 from the floor (0-for-4 from 3-point range) in last Wednesday's 105-99 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies and was limited to just five minutes in Friday's 117-115 win over the Utah Jazz.
"It's a new experience coming in as a rookie," Hornacek said, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman. "You got to get shots off quicker, learning the pace of the game, all the travel, legs are tired, how to shoot when you're tired. There's going to be ups and downs as a rookie.''
The No. 8 pick in last year's draft, Ntilikina has yet to start a game this season, as most of the starts have gone to Jarrett Jack. Hornacek said Ntilikina, Jack and Trey Burke, who was recently signed from the G League, will all continue to split time on the court.
"We have three guys depending on what we really need," Hornacek said, according to Berman. "Defensively, Frank is there. Jarrett if we need guys to settle, and Trey if we need penetration. We have options.''