The Knicks and new head coach David Fizdale want to see more from PG Frank Ntilikina this upcoming season. He had a so-so year in his rookie campaign, showing flashes of what he can give on the offensive end while providing the stellar defense he was known to possess.
To up his game entirely, Fizdale wants the young guard to be more aggressive and physical. In turn, Ntilikina hit the weights.
During the Knicks' town hall event on Monday, GM Scott Perry said that Ntilikina added 10-15 pounds of muscle during his summer workouts, per ESPN's Ian Begley.
Fizdale has already made it known that his guards, who also includes Trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay, will "fight it out" to see who will be the starting point guard this season. He knows exactly what Ntilikina needs to prove to him to be that guy once October rolls around.
"He's a good basketball player," Fizdale told Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "It's going to be a process with him of constantly emphasizing aggression and always be in 'Go mode' and don't be concerned as much about taking care of everybody and that his aggression will draw defenders to help him take care of everybody.
"He's such an unselfish kid. He wants to please everyone."
Fizdale and Ntilikina have sat down for film sessions, where the new head coach critiqued Ntilikina's habit of giving up the ball too early. Ntilikina called the session eye-opening, and now understands how he can make an impact with this more aggressive approach.
"It helped me a lot just seeing how he sees the game," Ntilikina said. "For players, it's always important to know what the coach wants from them, especially for me as I learn to lead this team. It was great. He helped me out i general, in my mind and how I approach the game. It was a great thing."
Last season, Ntilikina averaged 5.9 points, 3.2 assists and 0.8 steals per game.