So, Frank Ntilikina finished the season shooting below 40%. Well below 40%. 36.4%, if we want to be precise about it. It’s basically an international standard at this point that 40% is the official cut-off line for an acceptable field goal percentage. Anything below that and you’re probably a marginal player at best, and you’d better have some other strong areas to your game if you want to stick in the league.
Rookies get a little bit of leniency under this system, but not much. Nineteen-year old rookies get even more leniency, but not enough to avoid the fate of me thrashing them in my video descriptions. Especially if they have negative win-shares, as Ntilikina did.
Ntilikina’s problem was that he’s a good finisher, but took very few shots at the rim; the vast majority of his attempts were three-pointers long two-pointers, and he just isn’t a good enough shooter to shoot a high percentage on those shots. I think Knicks fans are holding out hope that Ntilikina will pull a Tony Parker and become a better shooter over the course of his career, and they still might be right about that. It’s too early to say. But I think it’s fair to say that Ntilikina underwhelmed as a rookie, never having a dominant game where you could say “I see now why he was picked eighth”. If I don’t see portrait-mode iPhone videos of him working out with Chris Paul over the summer, I’m writing him off for good.