Ntilikina and Hezonja plan on placing wager on World Cup

It’s France vs. Croatia on Sunday. And Frank Ntilikina vs. Mario Hezonja.

Ntilikina told The Post he plans to make a wager with his new Croatian teammate on Sunday’s World Cup final. If they are still in Las Vegas, they plan to watch the game together.

“We discussed it, I think we are going to make a bet, but it won’t be money — something else,” Ntilikina said. “We always discuss with each other. We’re excited and want to watch the game together.”

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Frank Ntilikina talks about being more aggressive and where he first developed his turn-around jumper

Frank Ntilikina talks about wanting to be more aggressive after taking some time to get into rhythim in the first game. He mentions how he thinks a lot on the court, about getting his teammates involved, but he needs to learn how to be aggressive, himself, as a means to create more opportunities for his teammates.

When asked about the turn-around jumpers he took from the post area, a shot that we haven’t seen from him while he has played for the Knicks, Ntilikina said it’s a shot he used before in Europe, but he needs to use it more often, especially with his size.

Fizdale doesn’t want Frank to lose who he is in trying to be aggressive

FIZDALE: “It’s be aggressive, but I don’t want it to the point where he stops being who he is,” he said. “I know everyone has this vision of what he should be. But he’s got some things that he already does well that he brings to the table. I still want him to keep those attributes while being aggressive. So I really like the way he played this game today.”

via Mike Vorkunov, The Athletic

Over breakfast, Ntilikina learns how he needs to be more aggressive

Knicks coach David Fizdale invited Frank Ntilikina to his hotel room Wednesday morning for breakfast and basketball.

They pored over film of Tuesday’s first summer-league practice, Fizdale showing the 19-year-old Frenchman, among other things, where he could have been more aggressive.

“The system will help him,’’ Fizdale said after an Independence Day practice. “The film work will help him. Me constantly showing him here’s an opportunity. You’d be surprised when we go back through the film, even he wasn’t aware of times when he just came down and just passed it. And he’s looking at an ocean of paint in front of him where he can go attack. That’s just his nature.”

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Knicks explore moving Lee as Fizdale eyes starting unit of Hardaway Jr at SG and Knox at SF

The Knicks, sources indicate, will explore moving Courtney Lee as coach David Fizdale eyes a starting unit of Tim Hardaway Jr. at shooting guard and rookie Kevin Knox at small forward.

Lee, whom Fizdale does not consider a small forward, could be extraneous as the Knicks have bigger plans for second-year shooting guard Damyean Dotson and using Frank Ntilikina some at the 2.

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Details of Fizdale’s Summer Workout Routine

Trey Burke describes the voluntary workouts he has been participating in with David Fizdale and a group of Knicks that includes Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson, Emmanuel Mudiay, Troy Williams, Isaiah Hicks, and Luke Kornet.

As transcribed by Ian Begley:

“We’ll lift first—if we’re not lifting, we’ll hit the track with Bar (trainer Mubarak Malik) and Shimon (Ishakawa).”

“After that we’ll hit the court. Stretch.”

“Then [Fizdale] has us doing all of our finishes, he has us doing all of the stuff with footwork. We’ll literally be there for the first 45 minutes of the workout. We’ll literally be in there for almost an hour just focusing on layups. Just focusing on getting our feet right and shots in the paint, in the middle, fundamentally sound things.”

“And then we’ll move into concepts. He’ll have us doing drills to where this guy slides to the corner and I’m going baseline and I’m hitting him and I have to back out into three. That guy at the top of the key. He has to do something and then we’ll have to rotate. But it’s fast. You have to use your mind. Mentally you have to be locked in.”

“We’ll go from that then we’ll go into something defensive. Our defensive concepts are totally different than what they were last year. So it’s new to all of us. Just learning to get on the same page defensively because we weren’t doing these things last year. Their system is different than what we saw 6-7 months ago.”

“And then by the end of practice, he’ll probably have us doing something competitive where it’s like, two dribbles one on one. Or he’ll have us to one dribble one on one where it’s like guys are just out there lining each other up. And you really have to use the stuff we were just working on to get a good shot off. And everybody’s getting evaluated and that’s the fun part.”

Fizdale is working with young Knicks on finishing around the rim

[A group of Mudiay, Ntilikina, Burke, Kornet, Hicks, Williams, and Dotson] has used the time to get into a gym, playing competitive games and working on skills development. One drill Fizdale instituted has been to teach the players how to finish around the rim — a subtle art the Knicks struggled with last season. They finished 17th in the NBA in field goal percentage at the rim in 2017-18, according to Cleaning The Glass. Ntilikina was in the 34th percentile in field goal percentage at the rim, Dotson in the 42nd, and Mudiay in the 55th percentile — a jump from the woeful, bottom-fifth success he had in Denver.

“We’re doing stuff we were pretty weak at last year as a team and individuals,” Mudiay said Saturday in between sessions of a skills camp for children held at NBPA headquarters as part of Go Hoop Day. “Finishing around the basket. We do some containing drills 1-on-1. Stuff like that.”

via Mike Vorkunov, The Athletic

Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox will join “Fiz Kids” in summer workouts with Fizdale

Even the Knicks never worked out Mitchell Robinson, who will start training with coach David Fizdale at the Knicks’ Tarrytown headquarters. Robinson will join other “Fiz Kids” — Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson, Kevin Knox, Emmanuel Mudiay and Troy Williams, Isaiah Hicks and Luke Kornet.

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Frank + Dotson could be starting backcourt in Summer League

After a wasted sophomore season, Ron Baker is still rehabbing from shoulder surgery and won’t play summer league like Damyean Dotson will […]

At the Las Vegas summer league in early July, unless the Knicks draft another point guard, Frank Ntilikina and Dotson could well be the starting backcourt.

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Fizdale has been working with Ntilikina on his offense

After spending much of the offseason in France, Ntilikina returned to New York and has been working with new coach David Fizdale at the practice facility. He said Sunday that the focus has been on “offensive skills.”

“Things that help me get comfortable on the court, offensively,” Ntilikina added. “I think defensively I’ve done a great job last year and I have to keep doing it. The main part next year is going to be offensively.”

via Stefan Bondy and Eric Barrow, New York Daily News

Ntilikina inspired by Donovan Mitchell, who calls Frank his best friend in the NBA

Asked whether he envisions himself playing to Mitchell’s level of last season — which included an impressive run to the Western Conference semifinals — Ntilikina added, “Yes. …Even further.”

Beyond being competitors and motivators, Ntilikina, 19, and Mitchell, 21, are also good buddies. In fact, Ntilikina made an appearance Sunday at Mitchell’s basketball camp in Greenwich, CT, where the Jazz guard called Ntilikina his best friend in the NBA.

via Stefan Bondy and Eric Barrow, New York Daily News

Frank Ntilikina is still growing and adding muscle

[Ntilikina] has been arriving at the Tarrytown facility at 9 a.m. each morning.

“I’ve added some weight and muscle,” Ntilikina told The Post on Friday in a phone interview. “I spent a lot of time working on my body in France. I’m getting better and more comfortable with my skills and body. I had the chance to maximize my time and work on my body, which I didn’t have time to do during the season.”

There’s talk Ntilikina, the Knicks’ 2017 lottery pick, has grown at least an inch since the start of his rookie season. In fact, there’s a chance Ntilikina, who turns 20 in October, will be bumped to 6-foot-6 — from 6-5 — in next season’s media guide.

“I may still be growing,” Ntilikina said.

via Marc Berman, New York Post

Knicks front office seems confident in Frank

Knicks GM Scott Perry said earlier this month that “it would only make sense (to take a point guard) if you feel that guard is far and away better than what you have on the roster. And we haven’t been able to make that determination yet.”

Privately, some members of the front office have been mentioning the same thing regarding the idea of taking a point guard, essentially saying that it wouldn’t make sense to select a PG given the current roster. This would seem to be another sign that the organization is confident in 2017 first-round pick Frank Ntilikina.

via Ian Begley, ESPN

Fizdale bringing Ntilikina, Mudiay, and Dotson on bonding trip to Cavs-Celtics game

Fizdale, whose stated goal is to establish “great relationships” with his players, will bring along two of his young point guards in Ntilikina [as first reported by SNY.tv], Emmanuel Mudiay and their 2017 second-round pick, shooting guard Damyean Dotson, on a trip to Beantown.

via Marc Berman, New York Post

The idea behind attending the game is to show [the young players] what it is to play “in the Eastern Conference Finals,” the source said.

via Adam Zagoria, SNY.tv