Jan 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (4) brings the bal up-court defended by New York Knicks forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas (91) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

3. Mindaugas Kuzminskas

Much like Willy, Mindaugas Kuzminskas is another foreign treat who’s stolen the hearts of many New Yorkers. Much like Willy, Kooz (as he’s affectionately known as), has provided depth on a roster that was thought to have very little of heading into the season.

Anything the Knicks picked up from both Hernangomez and Kuzminskas was going to be considered icing on the cake.

Defensively, another story is told.

While Kooz seems to be unflappable in even the grittiest of moments, he often gets bullied by fours (and even threes). The fundamentals are there, even defensively. He looks to box out, plays ball-you-man — he even keeps his motor near 100 percent during every minute played.

His defensive mind simply can’t compete at this level yet.

Like Hernangomez, only seasoning at this level can help on the defensive end of the floor.

 

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