Newly-acquired point guard Emmanuel Mudiay recorded a double-double of 14 points and 10 assists in his Knicks debut in Sunday's 121-113 loss to the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
"He really showed court sense, made some great passes," Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman.
Acquired in a three-team deal from the Denver Nuggets in the same trade that sent Doug McDermott to the Dallas Mavericks, Mudiay played 29:12, while rookie Frank Ntilikina saw 30:32 of playing time. Though Jarrett Jack started the game, he only scored two points in 8:08. Trey Burke played 7:50 off the bench.
"When we bring in another point guard [Burke] and young kid in Emmanuel, we have to look at things,'' Hornacek said. "We have a couple more games before the break. Then when we come back we have a few practices before that first game. If we're going to do something, that will be the time."
Mudiay said he was able to play "freely" despite not practicing with the current group of Knicks players.
"I love playing pick-and-roll ball, so I was just trying to make plays for others while also making plays for myself," he said, according to Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "I pick up on a lot of stuff pretty fast, so yesterday when I went over to the gym, we stayed for an hour just going over plays. That helped me out. They gave me a sheet of paper today to just kind of go over the names."
Given Jack, 34, is set to become a free agent at the end of the season and the new youth in New York's backcourt, Hornacek and the Knicks would likely give the younger guards more playing time over the course of the final two months of the season. Ntilikina is only 19 and Mudiay, the No. 7 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, is 21.
"I think [Mudiay] sees where the rotations are coming from, and when we start knocking those shots down, his assists will be climbing up," Hornacek said.