Frank Ntilikina is alive! If you are doubting the veracity of this proclamation, just take a look at the statline in the title of this video. That is not the statline of a dead person. That is the statline of an alive person.
The Knicks have been somewhat resurgent after firing their coach (which was now so long ago that I can’t remember his name), but Ntilikina has not been a part of that resurgence except in a very minor way. The ideal scenario for Knicks fans would probably involve him living up to his potential under a new coach, instead of continuing to be a low-minute low-impact role-player who probably wouldn’t get to play at all were it not for his draft pedigree (note: you could replace Ntilikina with Dennis Smith Jr. as the subject of that assessment and it would remain just as valid).
Wow, that last sentence sounded really negative. I’m sorry. I promise I’ll be more positive for the remainder of this description.
So not only is Ntilikina alive (and not dead), he’s so alive that he has set a new career-high in points while simultaneously almost setting a new career-high in assists! Ignore the fact that this came against the WIzards, who literally do not play defense! This is absolutely the defining offensive game of his career. Wait, forgot the exclamation point. Optimism! This is absolutely the defining offensive game of his career!
If only he never had that 11-assist game, or he’d have set a new career-high in career-highs (barring his early games, which don’t count for this), a fabled achievement that only the most illustrious players can ever hope to achieve. Apparently I did make a vid for that one, but it got deleted just like all the stuff from that time. Maybe it’ll make an appearance on the DownToBuck Highlights Archivium (don’t forget to subscribe!) one day.
Anyway, yeah, this performance was so good that it probably AT LEAST another month of goodwill from Knicks fans, which is timely, as it comes just as his goodwill reserves had run completely dry. It might even be good enough to last through the entire offseason. I don’t want to hear a single one of you complaining that the front office picked up his team option for next year. Not after tonight. The Knicks may have blown a huge lead, but they got something far more valuable than a win: evidence that Ntilikina might still be an impact player in the NBA.