New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher decided to start Kristaps Porzingis at Power Forward in the team’s season opener vs. the Milwaukee Bucks citing his versatility and wide ranging skill set. After one game the rookie is already paying dividends.
The Latvian big man and fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft got off to a quick start on Wednesday night, drawing multiple fouls and making it to the free throw line for eight attempts in about eleven minutes of action during the Knicks’ 122-97 win. Carmelo Anthony struggled shooting for most of the game but was picked up by the benchmob and his 19-year old teammate.
Porzingis moved very well up and down the floor and plays with aggression, which allows for plenty of opportunities in the half court and in transition. He has good body control as his size will create matchup problems for most players in the league and the first bucket of his NBA career was no exception:
— Dan Roth (@DanRothDC) October 29, 2015
It’s not everyday you see a 7’3 Power Forward drive the ball from the three point line down to the block for an easy two. Kristaps also made one of his two three point attempts on the way to an impressive opening line of 16 points, five rebounds and one block on 3-11 shooting from the field and 9 of 12 from the line in only 24 minutes. The Knicks were +2 while he was on the floor and will take his hustle with those numbers all day long.
Now Porzingis didn’t shoot the ball all that well from the field and predictably struggled to corral some rebounds, but wasn’t exposed on defense and his willingness to mix it up and be active will go well with his size. He also had the ball stripped late in the game while in the post and will need to keep it high at all times in a league where quick guards are always looking to take your dinner.
Overall, it was a rock-solid performance from KP as he moves well in the triangle and creates matchup issues all over the floor with his shooting touch. Knicks fans’ across the globe, rejoice for a night all is well.