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.
Porzingis showing off the handles ? https://t.co/TUDdI1LovH
— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 10, 2016
Additionally, he has been putting up monster stat lines this season that he couldn’t have mustered last year.
Per @bball_ref, Kristaps Porzingis is the 1st player since at least 1983 to have 25 pts, 10 rebs, 7 blks & 3 3PM or more in a single game.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 12, 2016
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.
— NBA (@NBA) December 12, 2016
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) December 3, 2016
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.