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[author image=”https://www.the3pointconversion.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/image1-3-e1464196614536.jpg” ]Allen Fields, Bronx, NY [/author]
Standing at 7’3 and 240 lbs, Kristaps Porzingis (KP6) is a towering figure. He fully embraced the city & team New York Knicks that drafted him. Porzingis welcomed the opportunity to be scrutinized by the most knowledgable basketball fans in the world. As seen, when you play good for the Knicks, you are cheered and revered but when you play poorly, you get booed and vilified. He seems to understand his surroundings quite well. When asked how he has adapted to New York so quickly, his response was “World Star Hip Hop” (A cultural media outlet all things hip hop related). His demeanor and attitude has endeared him to all of New York. Porzingis feeds off the energy here, it will be a site once he fully digest the swagger. It’s coming. He is also accessible to the fans as he is known to walk the streets, getting more familiar with everything the city has to offer.
As far as his game goes, KP6 has the foundation to be a future All-NBA player. Some may dismiss this opinion, but Porzingis is tall and can shoot but that’s where the International stereotype ends. He has a toughness that does not match his frame. He is 20 years old with very little experience, still in the infancy of learning the game. Yet his impact on defense was noticeable. He’s not afraid of contact and his willingness to try and block every shot is reminiscent of Patrick Ewing. Yes, he will get posterized on a few occasions but he’ll deny more attempts than get dunked on. In time, he will learn that his mere presence is a deterrent. Right now, he fouls too much due to a lack of body control. Porzingis moves well for a guy his size besides, his length and wingspan can cover a lot of ground. These assets will eventually make him a great help defender.
Offensively, he has not found his identity although we already know he can shoot. His three point range for a player his size is something we have not seen since Dirk Nowitzki came into the league. He runs the floor effortlessly (we’ve already seen highlight reel of his put back dunks). His handle needs work but is serviceable at the moment and Porzingis needs to develop a post game with a go to move (call Jabbar to help with a hook shot). A mid range shot or pull up jumper should be added to the arsenal as well. Porzingis wants to be great which is a mindset you must have. The skill set is there to be the ultimate Swiss Army Knife.
Porzingis just needs more playing time to gain valuable game experience. The two most important things he needs to focus on is his stamina and getting stronger. Imagine what he could morph into if he added these qualities with his size (Possibly be a 20-10-3 player). In the near future, KP6 has the chance to be mentioned as a top five two-way player with the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler and Klay Thompson. The old adage is you can’t teach height but more importantly you can’t teach heart and determination.