Frank Ntlikina has divided fan opinion this season but head coach Jeff Hornacek is confident in the 19-year-old rookie.
Ntilikina has struggled offensively but has earned plaudits on defense. He's quickly become the Knicks' best perimeter defender.
"Not only on the 1s and 2s but the other night he jumped over on Aaron Gordon on a switch one time," Hornacek said via Ian Begley of ESPN. "That gives us a lot of confidence going forward to say we can use him in different situations, we can have a big lineup in there where we can just switch in. He's not going to get outmuscled."
Much has been made over Ntilikina's offensive deficiencies, especially within the context of the guards the Knicks passed on for him, like Donovan Mitchell and Dennis Smith Jr.
Ntilikina is averaging just 5.6 points per game this season and is shooting 36 percent from the field. But Hornacek isn't worried.
"I don't worry about guys like Frank. Frank wants to get good. He's always asking questions. He's always watching tape, and we know he's going to work extremely hard this summer to take another step…. He's going to have a great career."
Ntilikina and the Knicks are next in action on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. against the Heat.