Kristaps Porzingis
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

New York Knicks rookie RJ Barrett told fans he’d love to dunk on Kristaps Porzingis and the Dallas big man finally responds to the challenge.

New Yorkers are ready for revenge against Kristaps Porzingis for the way his New York Knicks tenure ended. The Knickerbockers will play the Dallas Mavericks twice in the span of a week this November.

RJ Barrett knows how to play to his New York fanbase. In September, the rookie said he would love to dunk on Porzingis and the Mavericks big man welcomes the challenge.

“That’s fine. I’m a shot-blocker. I don’t know what some people were saying. I’m one of the best shot-blockers in the league and I’m always up for the challenge,” Porzingis told reporters.

“I think that’s a pretty good goal for [Barrett] to try to dunk on me. That would be cool. I respect that.”

This type of back-and-forth is fantastic to see. The mood in Madison Square Garden will be a bit more hostile when Porzingis takes the floor on Nov. 14.

Knicks fans may not want to hear it, but Barrett might have a tough time making this posterization a reality. Porzingis rarely loses a battle at the rim. He was leading the league in blocks per game (2.4) and held opponents to a ridiculous 48.7% field-goal percentage from six feet and within. That was good for 13.6% lower than what players would normally shoot from that spot on the floor.

Put simply, Porzingis was one of the frontrunners for Defensive Player of the Year before his ACL injury ended his 2017-18 season prematurely.

Barrett will have to really bring it if he wants to climb Mount Porzingis.

 

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