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A Foreign Affair with France: Frank Ntilikina

May 18th, 2017 at 9:18 AM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Strengths

Size: One of the first things you notice about Ntilikina on the court is his size. Standing at roughly 6’5″ with a reported massive 7’0″ wingspan, he’s tall and lengthy enough to play both guard positionsâ??â??â??more on this later.

Defensive Potential: Ntilikina’s biggest impact could be on the defensive side of the ball in his first NBA season. While Frank is still only 18 and filling into his frame, he’s already got the length and burst needed to be a lockdown perimeter defender. At 6’5″, he’s tall enough to guard both point guards, shooting guards, and even small forwards, making him versatile enough to hide the potential defensive inefficiencies of his backcourt teammates. In the highlight below, you’ll see Ntilikina use perfect time and acceleration to read the passing lanes and step in for the steal:

via DraftExpress

Ntilikina’s lateral quickness enables him to be an absolute pest on the perimeter and smother his opponents. Below you’ll see him adjust past a screen, then stick with his assignment with the occasional swipe at the ball, causing a forced shot. He’s also got the awareness to keep his arms raised as the shot clock winds down:

via DraftExpress

As long as Ntilikina continues to give this sort of effort on defense, he could be a defensive specialist immediately while he works on becoming more consistent on offense.

Improving on offensive side: Ntilikina is far from being as polished on the offensive end as Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball, but he’s made significant strides to improve his shooting. Generally, when there is limited information about a prospect, there tends to be a stereotype where he is an “explosive athlete” and a “poor shooter.” I think that’s exactly what has happened with Frank, even though it doesn’t match his improvements made on offense. This year, he’s shooting 48 percent from the field, 43 percent from the perimeter, a vast improvement from last season’s 35 percent from the field and 30 percent from the perimeter (via Basketball-Reference).

During the 2016 FIBA U18 European Championship, Ntilikina began to show off his potential on the offensive end: “After scoring only 7.3 points per game through the first three contests, Ntilikina finished the tournament averaging 22.7 points, 6.7 assists, 3.2 steals, 1.7 blocks …

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Tags: 2017-nba-draft, featured, NBA, New York Knicks, Sports

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