Kristaps Porzingis narrowly missed being named an All-Star Game starter, but he will still be joining the league’s best in Los Angeles.
New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis will be playing in his first NBA All-Star Game despite getting edged out for a starting role by the 76ers outspoken big man, Joel Embiid. New York’s crown jewel knew he was supposed to be an All-Star and although it took a few extra days, he finally is. He will be sharing the floor with guys like Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant. With the new draft format of the All-Star Game, it will be interesting to see which superstars KP is playing alongside.
According to Yahoo’s Shams Charania, league sources are confirming that Porzingis will be making his first All-Star Game appearance this February in Los Angeles.
New York Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis has been selected to the NBA Eastern Conference All-Star reserve team, league sources tell Yahoo.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 23, 2018
The Unicorn is well-deserving of the All-Star nod, mainly due to his incredible scoring stretch to start the season. Through his first 11 games of the season, KP averaged 30.4 points per game to go along with 2.3 blocks per game. The Latvian sensation has since leveled off, but there’s no denying his enormous impact on the Knicks this season.
Despite coming back down to earth, Porzingis is still averaging a career-high 23.3 points per game. While his scoring increase has attracted the most attention, he’s currently leading the NBA in blocks. He still has some deficiencies on defense which include getting out on shooters and defending the pick and roll, but he is turning into an elite rim protector.
He has struggled of late, but this was in large part due to the fact that Tim Hardaway Jr. was out with an injury and teams could key in on Porzingis even more than they already were. During THJ’s absence, KP was held to 21.3 points per game on 40 percent shooting and a problematic 33 percent from deep.
He has also dealt with nagging injuries all season. He will be missing Tuesday night’s showdown with the Golden State Warriors due to irritation in his left knee. Hopefully, this is only a minor setback, but it will be the seventh game this season Porzingis misses due to injury.
But tough stretches are par for the course when you are a young player in the NBA looking to take the next step towards superstardom. For Porzingis, an invitation to the All-Star Game is a gigantic step in the right direction.