Emmanuel Mudiay. (Photo: Getty Images)

There was plenty of head-scratching and questions when the New York Knicks acquired point guard Emmanuel Mudiay from the Denver Nuggets at the NBA trade deadline earlier in February. 


After Ron Baker's season-ending injury, the Knicks were still left with three point guards in Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke and veteran Jarrett Jack, who was inexplicably starting while the rookie Frenchman and 25-year-old Michigan product came off the bench. 


It was the last thing two developing point guards needed. Ntilikina needed to find his footing in the NBA as a 19-year-old while Burke needed an opportunity to prove that he could develop into a viable point guard at the NBA level despite being held back in Utah and Washington after being taken ninth overall in 2013. 


Adding a 21-year-old former lottery pick in Mudiay was only going to take minutes away from the two if Jack continued to start. 


Fortunately for them, head coach Jeff Hornacek has made Mudiay the starter while Burke and Ntilikina get minutes while the 34-year-old Jack hasn't played since Valentine's Day. 


All three have been on the floor together in some combination and have been surprisingly productive despite the numerous question marks surrounding them.

Here is how they have performed over their six games together:


Emmanuel Mudiay 2017-18 stats with Nuggets

42 games

17.9 minutes per game

8.5 points 

2.9 assists

2.2 rebounds

1.7 turnovers

40.1 FG%

Emmanuel Mudiay 2017-18 stats with Knicks

6 games

24.6 minutes per game

11.7 points

5.3 assists

3.3 rebounds

2.2 turnovers

40.9 FG%


Frank Ntilikina 2017-18 stats pre-Mudiay

53 games

20.1 minutes per game

5.2 points

3.3 assists

2.1 rebounds

1.9 turnovers

35.2 FG%

Frank Ntilikina 2017-18 stats post-Mudiay

6 games

24.1 minutes per game

7.5 points

1.0 assist

3.0 rebounds

1.3 turnovers

42.5 FG%


Trey Burke 2017-18 stats pre-Mudiay

11 games

14.2 minutes per game

8.5 points

3.1 assists

1.3 rebounds

0.6 turnovers

54.9 FG%

Trey Burke 2017-18 stats post-Mudiay

5 games

18.7 minutes per game

14.4 points

4.4 assists

1.4 rebounds

0.8 turnovers

52.5 FG%


The most popular combination used by Hornacek and most successful so far has been Ntilikina with Burke over the past six games. The two have been on the floor together for a total of 69 minutes with an offensive rating (points produced per 100 possessions) of 121.4. Only one other pairing of Knicks have played at least 50 minutes together over the past six games and have a better rating, which is Burke and Lance Thomas (122.2). Their net rating of 18.5 is also the top among any point-guard combination over the last six games:


With Ntilikina and Burke on the floor together

4 games

69 minutes

121.4 offensive rating

102.9 defensive rating

18.5 net rating


With Ntilikina and Mudiay on the floor together

6 games

65 minutes

104.8 offensive rating

115.4 defensive rating

-10.7 net rating


With Burke and Mudiay on the floor together

3 games

16 minutes

117.5 offensive rating

116.8 defensive rating

0.7 net rating