Knicks Coach David Fizdale has mixed and matched his starting rotation throughout the 2018-9 season. In just 26 games, the Knicks have started 12 different players; that’s the benefit of trying to develop young players when wins and losses no longer matter.
A recent change that has not worked, however, was the decision to start Emmanuel Mudiay over Frank Ntilikina. Fizdale needs to send Mudiay back to the bench and reinsert Ntilikina into the starting lineup.
As a backcourt pairing, Mudiay and Tim Hardaway Jr. have a disastrous 133.3 defensive rating in their past 78 shared minutes. In Mudiay’s first four starts — all losses — the Knicks have allowed 128, 129, 131, and 118 points. That’s simply not going to cut it, even with the increased scoring and pace of play around the league.
Granted, Mudiay has started to pick up jus game of late. He shown flashes of his offensive potential especially in win over the Pelicans where he scored 27 points and a win over the Bucks when he scored 28.
However, the defense just doesn’t work and he’s more than likely not part of the teams future moving forward.
It’s time to give Ntilikina the reins, not just of the point guard position, but of the team. Let the second year guard figure the game out; the future of the Knicks is much more dependent on Ntilikina than Mudiay.
For those saying Ntilikina is a bust…
Ntilikina is just 20 years of age. Is Marcus smart a bust? Hell no. He’s a valuable rotation piece and a starter on a top eastern conference team.
Smart is good enough that Danny Ainge gave him a 4 year $52 million extension all because of his elite defense.
That’s what Ntilikina can be for the Knicks. It’s time to get him back in he lineup and end this nonsense of three straight DNP – coaches decision.