Frank Ntilikina’s Garden Debut Gave The New York Knicks Hope [Opinion]

Frank Ntilikina calling out a play

The start of the number eight overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft Frank Ntilikina’s NBA Career was discouraging and frustrating to New York Knicks fans.

Due to injury, Ntilikina missed the entire NBA summer league, four out of five preseason games, and practically the first three games of the Knicks regular season considering he only played eight minutes against the Thunder.

The Knicks fan base didn’t exactly know what to expect, outside of a few comments from teammates and coaches, it was a mystery as to what kind of player Ntilikina would turn out to be.

Despite all the frustration, Knicks fans have learned to be relatively patient with their team which is quite rare, and they were rewarded with a promising performance from their rookie during Friday night’s win against the Brooklyn Nets.

Knicks point guard locking down on defense.

While the stats don’t tell the full story, Ntilikina put up nine points, five assists, two rebounds and a steal in his garden debut. Ntilikina demonstrated tremendous court vision, an ability to create his shot and that lockdown defense that everybody has been talking about.

The French rookie used every bit of his seven-foot long wingspan to disrupt passes and discombobulate his opponent. The Knicks forte over the past couple of years have not been defense, but with Frank Ntilikina and Kristaps Porzingis anchoring, the Knicks could quickly become one of the better defensive teams rather soon.

Ntilikina’s ability to create for others was something that left Knicks fan’s speechless in last nights win with a jaw-dropping pass in transition to Kyle O’Quinn, and a couple of other impressive passes, the rookie displayed all of his tools in his Madison Square Garden debut.

Last night, Ntilikina had his moment. Just like Kristaps Porzingis put back dunks, the French rookie finally had his moment that jolted excitement throughout the entire Knicks fan base.

Perhaps not knowing what to expect from Ntilikina was the best possible situation for the Knicks to soak in what this player can do.

Also, don’t forget, Frank Ntilikina was Phil Jackson’s selection. If Ntilikina turns out to be a star in this league or even enters the discussion for rookie of the year, what will Phil Jackson’s legacy be?

It is very early into Ntilikina’s career, but if his tools that he put on display were any indication of what to expect in the future, New York Knicks fan’s everyone should be thanking Phil Jackson.

[Featured Image by Elsa/Getty Images]