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Knicks practice notes- 10/14/17: Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina expected to play in opener

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That would be nice!

New York Knicks Media Day Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

On Saturday the New York Knicks finished their first practice with their nominal regular-season roster, having already cut the likes of Nigel Hayes, Trey Burke and Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Some important injured-bockers also made their triumphant return to the practice court.

Kristaps Porzingis is back! And—believe it or not—he’s still quite tall!

As for Frank Ntilikina, he didn’t participate in practice at all two days ago, so non-contact participation is a step up. According to Ian Begley, both should be ready by the season opener.

That would be a mighty fine development. I can stomach the hype surrounding the “Carmelo Anthony Revenge Game” as long as our boy Frank is out there getting deflections and dropping dimes.

In other news, Jeff Hornacek is employing a simpler defensive scheme did season, and Kristaps is a fan:

"(Last season the approach) was confusing guys and it was confusing me,” said the Unicorn. “It didn't help at all. This year we have a much more clearer (approach) on the defensive end and it's going to help.''

It’s hard to predict exactly where the Knicks will fall in the bottom echelon of NBA defenses—they lost some terrible defenders, but gained some new ones. Hopefully a clearer scheme will help a bit.