7-3 New York Knicks’ sensation Kristaps Porzingis is having a breakout season now that he is “the man” after star Carmelo Anthony’s September trade to the Thunder.
The third-year player from Latvia is second in the league in scoring (30.2 ppg), third in blocks (2.2), and first in usage rate (35.5).
Porzingis’ 28.6 Player Efficiency Rating, which measures effectiveness per minute, is fifth in the NBA – behind only LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry, and Giannis Antetokounmpo
And his 272 points though the Knicks’ first nine games is the most ever to begin a season in franchise history.
“Porzingis is special,” Suns center Tyson Chandler told Newsday after KP poured in 37 points against him in a 120-107 Knick win last Friday at the Garden. ““He has a chance to be the best player in this league.”
Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek said that the 22-year-old Porzingis, a three-point shooting and shot blocking “Unicorn,” is a one-of-kind player.
“When you’re 7-3 and have the skills that he has and doing it on both sides of the ball, you’re going to be put up as one of the best players in the league,” Hornacek told NBA.com. “KP has that drive. He’s worked hard in the summer. He’s so young, he’s going to get better and better.”
And a confident Porzingis believes the sky’s the limit for how good he can become.
“I said my goals for the season were most-improved player of the year,” Porzingis told the NY Daily News. “I think I have the opportunity to win defensive player of the year and also the All-Star Game is a goal for me individually.”
The No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Porzingis took the NBA by storm as a rookie in 2015-16 when he averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks, and finished second to the Wolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns in the Rookie of the Year voting.
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