New York Knicks fans initially abhorred the selection of Latvian-born big man Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 overall pick in this past year’s NBA Draft, but Porzingis’ promising play early in his rookie season has them ruing their decision to boo him after the pick was made.
While his statistics may not scream “star” just yet, (KP is averaging 11.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game on 38% shooting and 21% from downtown) he’s shown flashes that have Knick fans finally excited about the future.
In a Sunday afternoon victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, Porzingis went head-t0-head with whom many consider to be the mantle at the power forward position today: Anthony Davis.
Although Porzingis registered a subpar performance in terms of shooting (10 points on 4-15 FG,) the Knicks still prevailed and he caught the attention of Davis, who praised Porzingis and revealed he’s looking forward to the future matchups between them. Stefan Bondy of New York Daily News has the scoop:
Davis left impressed with a future nemesis.
“Porzingis is a great player. He can shoot, he can drive and he is active,” the Pelicans forward said. “It is going to be fun battling him.”
From the early going of New York’s 95-87 win it was evident that Porzingis was pressing, savoring the moment of going against Davis who happens to be at the pinnacle the he hopes to reach. Porzingis forced the action a bit, while Davis, who was returning from a hip contusion that had him sidelined for a few games, showed why he’s arguably, (sorry guys, Blake Griffin is playing outstanding basketball right now) the best power forward in the NBA.
It’s nice to see Davis gush over Porzingis, who will become one hell of an NBA player if his slender stature can catch up with his skill set. High praise from one of the NBA’s elite shows that Phil Jackson and the Knicks got the pick right, and hopefully for them there will soon be a day in which Porzingis is in the same echelon as Davis.