Today is a very special day for Knicks fans — the birthday of Kristaps Porzingis. The 7-3 Latvian who was loathed by the Big Apple fanbase when he was selected fourth overall in the 2015 draft turns 21 years old today, and we’re going to look back at his three best performances from his rookie year.
Manhattan’s newest franchise saver had a solid first year in the NBA and was the only playing giving Karl-Anthony Towns competition for Rookie of the Year for most of the season. In 72 games with the Knicks, the Zinger averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game despite hitting the rookie wall late in the season.
Please note that these games are in no significant order.
11/21/2015 vs. HOU: 24p-14r-7b-8/12 FG
KP6 looked phenomenal this game and gave a glimpse into what his future holds. Even better than him stuffing the stat sheet was the Knicks pulling out a 107-102 victory. Porzingis had everything working that night: knocking in a couple of threes, nailing all six of his free throws, and showed a solid mid-range jumper en route to his 24-point evening. The eye-popping stat is clearly the seven blocks, and Porzingis utilized his length to both alter and swat countless shot attempts from the Rockets.
11/17/2015 vs. CHO: 29p-11r, Sets Career-High In Points
This performance came just four short days prior to the one in Houston, so it’s safe to say that Godzingis was really feeling it in November. Frank Kaminsky and Cody Zeller couldn’t do anything to stop him, and Porzingis got buckets from all over the court — mid-range, three-point land, you name it. His 10/17 shooting was a by-product of movement without the ball, and Charlotte’s issues guarding the pick-and-roll which allowed him to go off for 29 in New York’s 102-94 victory.
12/7/2015 vs. DAL: 28p-2b-13/18 FG, Duel With Dirk
Dirk Nowitzki has become the standard when it comes to European bigs. Anything less, and Darko Milicic comparisons start coming out. Porzingis does have a game similar to Dirk with the combination of post moves and range, and when the two met they dueled relentlessly, with the Mavericks coming out on top 104-97. Three-Six Latvia won the individual battle, however, outscoring Dirk 28-25 on a radically efficient 13/18 shooting. Yet again, it was a brilliant combination of post moves, mid-range, and shots from distance.
Data courtesy of Basketball-Reference
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