The New York Knicks have a lot to be happy about after a slow start. They have had impressive wins and are on a nice run. This run is being catalyzed by the play of Kristaps Porzingis. He is becoming a superstar for the New York Knicks. His teammates see him rise to the occasion and he is carrying them to wins.
Kristaps Porzingis Becoming a Superstar for New York Knicks
When he was drafted fourth overall back in the summer of 2015, everyone was down on the pick. No one knew who he was. There was also a stereotype against European players; they were not known for the most success in the NBA.
Three years later, that pick is paying off. Without any other star on this team and coming into this year physically stronger, Porzingis is portraying his talents. He can score multiple ways, whether it be from downtown or in the post. He can rebound and be a rim protector for a team that has played little defense over the past few years.
Putting the Knicks in Better Situations
His play on both ends has inspired this team to overachieve early on. The Knicks began the season 0-3, but have won five out of their last six games. Porzingis is becoming the centerpiece of success. He has eclipsed 30 points in seven of the nine games. Things looked bleak after dropping the first three, but this team is rallying for one another.
Finding Chemistry with the Young Core
This team will struggle to win, but the biggest key for this season is the continued development of Porzingis. They must stay the course. If they start winning, they cannot go out and make a trade for a big name that will take away from Porzingis. Instead, the young players around him must continue to play. The chemistry is starting to gel.
The biggest example of this was Sunday night against the Indiana Pacers. Porzingis went off and reeled 15 straight points, keeping the Knicks in the game. However, with him on the court were Frank Ntilikina and Tim Hardaway Jr.
All summer long, we were sold about the youth movement. We are finally seeing the Knicks stay with the plan. These three all had big buckets in their comeback win against the Pacers. But the play of Porzingis has given the whole team confidence. As their star goes, the team goes.
Staying Put with Porzingis
For years, the Knicks were known for trading for stars. They went after big names hoping for success. Guys like Antonio McDyess, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Derrick Rose were brought in for instant success. However, none of those moves ever panned out. Instead of success, the Knicks lost more games than they won with big stars.
Porzingis might be a start of the culture change. He is the first young star since Patrick Ewing who the Knicks can build around. He is taking his play to the next level, and he can help elevate the Knicks to the next level.
23 December 2015: New York Knicks Forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) looks to pass during the game between the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Oh. (Photo by Mark Alberti/ Icon Sportswire) (Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)