Mar 24, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and forward Carmelo Anthony (7) laugh on the court during second half time out against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks won 106-94. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Confidence

Statistics cannot quantify the confidence and swagger KP is playing with. He has been crossing over defenders, taking step back jumpers, and creating his own shot far more than he did last season. During his rookie campaign, a lot of Porzingis’ shots were catch and shoot opportunities from behind the arc, or putback dunks, with the occasional post move. This season, it is clear that the Latvian has expanded his offensive arsenal, and his making highlight plays with his dribble moves, his drives to the basket, and his silky smooth midrange game.

Additionally, he has been putting up monster stat lines this season that he couldn’t have mustered last year.

He has also been putting in work on the defensive end, as exemplified by his staggering seven block performance against the Lakers on the road.

The best part is, KP has remained a humble student of the game throughout his meteoric rise. He is not arrogant, or cocky, but rather a hard-worker whose only focus is making himself and the team better.

Based on statistics, confidence, swagger, and results, it would be foolish to leave Kristaps Porzingis out of the early discussion for the NBA’s Most Improved Player.

 

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