Lloyd Christmas: You know, I don’t really recall. Starts with an S! Let’s see. Swim? Swammi? Slippy? Slappy? Swenson? Swanson?
Harry Dunne: Maybe it’s on the briefcase.
Lloyd Christmas: Oh, yeah! It’s right here.
Lloyd Christmas: Samsonite! I was way off!
Dumb and Dumber. That’s how I describe my first couple of articles about the Knicks’ Rookie Kristaps Porzingis. I’ve talked about Porzingis in about 7 articles or so, several of which were completely about him. You can read them in chronological order here (where I talked a lot of shit), here (where I talked even more shit), here (where I talked the most shit/gave up my Knicks fandom), here (where I backtracked quite a bit), here (where I gave Porzingis more benefit of the doubt), and finally, here (where I straight up said I was flat-out wrong).
I’ve already tweeted at Kristaps and Phil Jackson on Twitter, letting them know I was sorry for the negative comments I had about both of them on and around draft day. I wasn’t alone. Who can forget the tears flowing from this little Knicks fan’s eyes when Adam Silver announced Kristaps’ name:
Now I’m not a professional scout. Actually I’m far from it. I pride myself on my ability to analyze basketball talent via YouTube highlight videos, scouting reports, and stat sheets, none of which passed the eye test with Porzingis initially. There was limited video on him, and whatever clips were available showed him getting tossed around in La Liga like a bitch. I couldn’t fathom how a 7+ footer was averaging less than 5 rebounds per game in a European basketball league. I thought Porzingis was going to be a colossal bust. Kristaps’ play thus far has proved me wrong.
He showed flashes during the Summer League, although he was injured before they began which may have hindered his performance a bit. Interestingly enough, the one aspect of Porzingis’ game that did pass the eye test initially, his sweet shooting stroke, has been the least relevant part of his game so far in the NBA. Kristaps Porzingis is shooting just 40.7% from the floor and 26.5% from beyond the arc. He’s shooting a more than respectable 83.8% from the free throw line, but I thought he’d be somewhere around 48/33/75 based on his European stats. Godzingis (as the kids are calling him) has been a beast otherwise.
Coach Derek Fisher has yet to unleash Kristaps on the league, and other than the occasional foul trouble I have no clue why. Porzingis is averaging 12.8 ppg to go along with 8.6 boards in just 25 minutes of action. Extrapolated over 36 minutes per game, that’s 18.2 ppg and 12.2 rpg. Those are Kevin Love type numbers. Let the kid play.
Knicks fans deserve to be excited about the future with Kristaps Porzingis on the roster. He seems to only be getting better, and is a lot of fun to watch. A man can admit when he was wrong, and I couldn’t have been more off.