Now that the more important substance of the offseason for the New York Knicks has concluded, we turn our attention to Kristaps Porzingis.
By Robby Sabo
Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo, Kyle O’Quinn, Jerian Grant and Kristaps Porzingis – these are the new faces of the New York Knicks.
There’s no Greg Monroe, DeAndre Jordan or even the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge coming through those doors. Nobody with the cache of a Marc Gasol will triumphantly be announced in the starting lineup during the home opener.
With just about $7 million in cap space to burn, boss Phil Jackson has already laid a foundation for this franchise. Not in the way Knicks fans had hoped – which would garner immediate success this coming season – but in the way that will allow long term success with Steve Mills now knowing which type of baller to target in the years to come.
These are the years to come long after Jackson has already left the building and he’s kicking it on the beach with Jeanie Buss somewhere.
This squad won’t be anything special. Therefore, the 2015-16 NBA season will revolve completely around “Zinger” (A.K.A. Porzingis).
There’s no question Derek Fisher’s team could compete for a playoff spot in the very weak Eastern Conference. The Miami Heat almost made the playoffs a season ago with a very mediocre 37-45 record.
Despite that fool’s gold, the more important matter over the course of the next 82-games will have everything to do with the No. 4 overall pick from the 2015 NBA Draft.
It’s already been envisioned by Knicks heads a thousand times.
What image on the backpage will be shown more often than not? Porzingis. Which box-score will be bandied about among Knicks fans and inner-circles during the early stages of November all the way through to the stretch run? Zinger.
The stat-line for this Latvian-sensation will be the most important aspect for the Knicks as they head into this so-called new era. It won’t be wins or losses, it’ll be the development of the seven-foot, lanky stretch-big who’s supposed to be a “once in a lifetime” draft-selection.
Now more than ever, it has to be.
Aside from Carmelo Anthony, there are no stars on the squad. Defensive-minded and gritty individuals like Lopez, Afflalo and Grant are all critical pieces to a solid team, but none can be mistaken for studs.
Zinger will be either the reason the Knicks fly up the NBA organizational relevance chart as they head into a much sunnier 2016 offseason, or stay in this rut of awfulness.
This is now a Porzingis-world and we’re all just living in it – including Melo.
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