New York Knicks 19-year old phenom Kristaps Porzingis impressed the basketball world yet again in Game 3 of NBA Summer League action.
By Robby Sabo
The crown jewel for New York Knicks president Phil Jackson is currently averaging 10 points on 9-15 shooting through three games during NBA Summer League play. He is pleasantly shocking most of the basketball world (including Stephen A. Smith).
Averaging just 19.3 minutes per, Kristaps Porzingis has flashed so much upside that some now believe he easily could’ve been the No. 1 overall pick.
Game 3 in Las Vegas against the Philadelphia 76ers wasn’t any different for the Latvian sensation.
With time dwindling in the fourth-quarter, Zinger made his first truly bonehead mistake as a Knick. He fouled Scottie Wilbekin’s three-point attempt while looking for the block.
Kristaps Porzingis holds his own vs. Jahlil Okafor; Maurice Ndour’s background may make him a good triangle fit — http://t.co/INaQK3CVDG
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) July 15, 2015
There was only 1.9-seconds left with Philly down three. After Wilbekin put in all three free-shots, the game headed to a two-minute overtime.
In the overtime, Porzingis flashed more of the incredible awareness and defensive want-to that he’s displayed so far by blocking No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor as he took one to the rack.
This defensive prowess, for a lanky 19-year old who needs to bulk up a bit more, is exactly what’s been so shocking to witness. His basketball IQ is light-years ahead of what he’s supposed to be.
Via Marc Berman of the New York Post:
“He’s really good,’’ Okafor said. “He’s a top-5 pick for a reason. He’s a helluva player. Looks like he could do everything and he has the respect of his teammates.’’
The Knicks took the game in overtime by the final of 83-81 and improved to 3-0 in Summer League play. Porzingis’ stat-line wound up nice and shiny with nine points, three rebounds, three blocks and three assists in just 22 minutes.
The overwhelming feeling not just among Knicks circles, but in Knicks fandom, is the idea that this kid is much more than just a scorer (as seen so many times prior with international prospects).
He’ll contribute immediately, despite his frail 220 lbs., 7’3” frame. He’ll also contribute in ways nobody would have imagined on draft night as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver barked out his name as the No. 4 overall pick.
This kid is for real, and Spike Lee and company have smiles from ear to ear.
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