The New York Knicks want Kristaps Porzingis to play the five, and he’s not a big fan of that idea.

Kristaps Porzingis doesn’t think the Knicks would benefit from him moving over and playing center, and he explained the reasoning to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

“I think it’s better for us,” Porzingis said Wednesday. “Me at the 4, especially if I’m playing against a non-shooting 4, I can do a lot. When I’m playing against the 5, I’m fighting with the big a lot of times and I’m wasting a lot of energy. Obviously, offensively I have an advantage at center, but I’m just more comfortable playing at the 4.”

Bondy also touched on how the Knicks have added other bigs recently to allow the Zinger to play more on the perimeter. Joakim Noah, Willy Hernangomez, Kyle O’Quinn, and the newly-acquired Enes Kanter are more comfortable with the physicality inside the paint on both ends.

Porzingis’ slender frame has had its share of minor ailments already, and that is likely the reason for his reluctance to play center. The other rationale from the Zinger wanting to man the 4 is the size advantage offensively and added rim-protection.

Also Read: Are The Knicks Ready For The KP Era?

“Fours are usually smaller, and I can shoot over them easier,” Porzingis said. “If it’s a non-shooter at power forward, then I can be under the rim on defense and protecting the rim and that’s what I love.”

That’s a fair point from the young star, as he’s proved to be a critical piece on the interior on D. It’s also a clear that getting him open looks on the perimeter is an advantage, with him being a 7-3 player. The back-to-the-basket game has not gotten there yet, though.

Over his first two years, Porzingis has placed in the 45th and 31st percentile of the NBA in post-ups, per Synergy. His spot-up ability at center could eventually work wonders for the Knicks offense in the coming years, however.

It’s not as if Porzingis playing the five means he is only posting up in the paint. The threat of his shooting drags out shot-blocking centers, and that would open up driving lanes and post-ups for his teammates. I understand the Knicks are a bit late to the analytics party and this experiment hasn’t worked well yet, but it’s something they need to do enough of before they waste another whole season.

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