Let’s pump the brakes on Kristaps Porzingis

Spyros Antoniou Roar Pro

By Spyros Antoniou, Spyros Antoniou is a Roar Pro

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    Kevin Durant characterised Kristaps Porzingis as a unicorn for the correlation of his height and skills, yet the last few games the New York Knick has been struggling.

    Early in the season, Porzingis was averaging almost 30 points and shooting around 50 per cent from the floor.

    Now he averages 23.6 per game and only 43 per cent from the floor, creating concerns about the face of the franchise.

    Adding to that, his misses in the last few seconds of tight games – like the game with New Orleans Pelicans where he lost an open three for the win.

    Before questioning his ability, we should pump the brakes.

    The drop of Porzingis performance started with the injuries to his knee, ankle and the elbow of his shooting arm.

    Whta’s more, teams have started to adjust their defence to limit Porzingis – the Spurs were a great example, allowing him to score only 11 of 35 in both games this season.

    Then there’s Tim Hardaway Jr’s recent injury – losing the team’s second best player has affected Porzingis significantly, despite some great games from Michael Beasley.

    The Knicks don’t have a great point guard – Jarrett Jack is good but has limits, while Frank Ntilikina is the second youngest player in the league, so his good defence and passing ability are outweighed by his lack of experience.

    Finally, the previous two years Porzingis did not have the most appropriate atmosphere to grow as a player. The Knicks were always full of drama, from Phil Jackson cleaning house, to his conflict with Carmelo Anthony, to the disappearance of Derrick Rose.

    Kristaps Porzingis is at least the third-best player of his draft classs – after Karl Anthony Towns and Devin Booker – and the best pick the Knicks have had for 17 years.

    Basketball players need time to develop so they can produce at consistently high levels. They are not all Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

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