Maybe Ntilikina needed to get past Sunday痴 game with the Mavericks and pass the Dennis Smith Jr. test before he was able to take the next step. Late Sunday, the soft-spoken Ntilikina sounded more confident than he痴 been since the night of the draft after outplaying Smith.

的 think I知 improving every day, getting more comfortable on the court every day and off the court, too, about [showing leadership with] the team,鋳 Ntilikina said. 的 think it痴 just the beginning. I知 looking forward to grow up, to keep working on my game. I知 so motivated on what I can do in the future for the team.

的知 just thankful for it,鋳 Ntilikina added of his rookie year that has had its good and cautionary moments. 的 love being here, love what I知 doing. I have the chance to play basketball and to do it as my job. I can not ask better.

(NY Post)