It seems that Latvian Kristaps Porzingis could be a efficient draft choice by the New York Knicks, but he still has a long way to go.
The 7-footer recorded stats of 12 points on 3/5 shooting, plus 6/7 free throws. Porzingis added three rebounds, and two blocks in the Knicks’ 78-73 win over the Becky Hammon-led San Antonio Spurs.
Porzingis, still not at 100 percent due to a hip injury showed great court awareness and confidence throughout and his 19 minutes on an NBA floor were greatly rewarded.
But, it was only Porzingis’ first game. Granted it was a solid outing, and the boos that rung around the Barclays Center on draft night switched to cheers in the city that never sleeps but on the court, the 7’1″, 19-year-old prodigy still lacked the aggressive inside presence that he sorely needs to maintain a successful career with the Knicks.
Recording just three rebounds was below par and his post-game was non-existant, but later confessing to reporters in Las Vegas that he needs to bulk up could make him better and stronger with both of those noticeable weaknesses. Some might just argue that he is still recovering from hip trouble and needs more time.
The two important things though for Knicks fans is that he has the summer to work with the team as he has stated that he will not suit up for Latvia at the upcoming Eurobasket, despite being co-hosts and the most important of all is that he felt comfortable out there and even stated that he might have proved people wrong about his physical style of play.
It will come with time, but not buying it at present.
“I was really calm,’’ Porzingis said to reporters in Vegas. “One moment I felt myself thinking about game and got a little nervous but then I chilled out.
“I’m happy. I played physical, I proved maybe to some people who thought I was soft. Wasn’t my greatest game, but I played OK.’’
Here was the glimpses of Porzingis’ strengths against the Spurs:
Words by John Hobbs