True as that may be, the comments essentially made Ntilikina the collateral damage of a jab directed at Jackson and, perhaps, Steve Mills.
The Cavs play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
"This is my rookie. I can not just let him disrespect him like that", Enes Kanter said Sunday afternoon after practice in Westchester. "He's doing a great job, he's playing great and he's doing what he's supposed to".
"So, Dallas got a good one". I mean, come on. You can not just say anything like that about him. "But Dallas is definitely, I know they're excited that he didn't go there". But I mean, why Knicks? "There were like [seven] ahead of them". "That's a rookie. You can not just say anything like that about him".
It looks like Porzingis fully is embracing his new leadership role, and there's no doubt he has his teammates' backs.
"I don't know why he made those comments", Porzingis said.
"We have Frank and Frank has done a great job for us, his abilities, the way he's grown from day one and the things that he's worked on, we expect him to be a great player also", Hornacek said. I would not change Frank for anybody.
The 6-5 Ntilikina has flashed promise, averaging 4.4 points, 5.0 assists and 1.6 steals in 10 games as a reserve. Smith netted 21 points and had seven assists and five rebounds in the loss.
The 22-year-old Knicks unicorn has taken to find out other ways to further his development even in the minute details.
Ntilikina has been a positive presence for the Knicks. Ntilikina said he's motivated for every game.
"He's an unbelievable talent", James said. I just think it's going to be a process. Guards Ron Baker and Damyean Dotson were sent to the G League's Westchester Knicks for the second time in three days.