Kristaps Porzingis’ Improvement

Kristaps Porzingis finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting last season and exceeded all expectations for his debut campaign in the NBA. When the Knicks decided to alter their approach for the 2016-17 season, Porzingis’ improvement was obviously a big part of the team’s plan.

Before he hurt his Achilles, the Unicorn was on fire. In the first 25 games, he averaged 34.5 minutes, 20.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, and 2.2 three-pointers made on a crazy slash line of .459/.399/.787. Those are All-Star numbers.

[graphiq id=”5ZIjugAcwMB” title=”Kristaps Porzingis Top Scoring Games in 2016-17″ width=”600″ height=”557″ url=”” link=”” link_text=”PointAfter | Graphiq” ]

It’s not a coincidence that KP’s injury troubles began at the same time as New York began losing.

He’s missed six games in January and struggled in the seven games he played. Porzingis has measly averages of 13.3 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting just 31.3 percent from downtown.

The Latvian is clearly not back to 100 percent yet, and may not be for awhile, so the Knicks need to be careful with the future of their franchise.

The most important takeaway from this troubling season is that Porzingis did show incredible improvement when he was healthy. At least there’s that.

I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.