Kristaps Porzingis Already Becoming Center of New York Knicks Defensive Identity

December 16th, 2015 by Jared Dubin Leave a reply »

Much of the talk around New York Knicks rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis has centered on how he can potentially be a game-changing player on offense, and rightfully so. A 7'3" sharpshooter with Nowitzki-esque range and an early-career Kevin Love-like willingness to crash the offensive boards, Porzingis will likely prove a rare breed of offensive talent as his career moves along.

But it's his surprising prowess on the other end of the floor that could change the trajectory of his career, and of the Knicks as a team.

Rail-thin at the time he was drafted, Porzingis was widely expected to struggle on the defensive interior. The Knicks slotted him next to Robin Lopez in their starting lineup seemingly for that very reason. Lopez's presence inside would give KP cover in case his man bullied his way to the rim. Through the early part of the year, Porzingis rarely saw the floor without Lopez right there next to him.

But more and more of late, head coach Derek Fisher has taken to using Porzingis as the lone big man on the court, despite the fact that his roster is heavy on bigs and relatively light on wings.

"It was ...

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