The season that rookie Kristaps Porzingis is having for the New York Knicks is making Linsanity look like a nice two weeks at summer camp you barely remember from when you were a kid. That story took over the entire sports world, not just in New York, but it’s a distant memory as far as trendy-take-the-city-by-storm-out-of-nowhere players go, thanks in large part to, well, just how awesome the lanky rookie has been.
Take Wednesday night, for example, as the Knicks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 107-102 behind 29 points from Aaron Afflalo and 20, 15 and 9 from Carmelo Anthony. But it was Porzingis who had people talking bout the Knicks, taking all the buzz in the first half by blocking six of seven shots before the break.
Kristaps Porzingis with six blocks against Timberwolves, still second quarter
— InsideHoops.com NBA (@InsideHoops) December 17, 2015
Porzingis was just 4-14 from the field for 11 points on the night, adding six boards to the seven blocks. It was an otherwise pedestrian night for the rookie, who is averaging 13.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Knicks’ coach Derek Fisher put the night in perspective in talking with reporters after the game.
“For Kristaps to block seven shots, he took away seven opportunities for the other team to score,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. “That’s more important than him making one more basket. Our guys are continuing to embrace the fact that your stat line won’t make the difference every night. It’s really about the Knicks winning the game.”
Stat lines may not matter in New York. But still, seven blocks. Seven.
Melo (20/15/9), Afflalo (29 pts), Porzingis (7 blks) all big in @nyknicks win
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) December 17, 2015
In their first meeting, Kristaps Porzingis rejects Karl-Anthony Towns!https://t.co/6xpIBoXYae
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 17, 2015
Towns did get the better of his rookie counterpart on the night, despite the block above, finishing with 25 points and 10 rebounds against New York. He told reporters after the loss he respects the opposing rook’s game.
“(Porzingis) is talented,” Towns said. “He proved it again. He’s very talented. He’s a versatile player. I can’t wait to be playing against him for the next 20 years plus.”
Porzingis is so popular in New York—let’s never forget, after being so resoundingly despised on draft night—that he’s being compared to legends of New York basketball.
Kristaps Porzingis: 6 blocks in the first half
The most blocks Patrick Ewing had in a GAME his rookie season was 5
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 17, 2015
Legends. And, as it were, celestial beings.
porzingis is blotting out the sun right now
— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) December 17, 2015
What’s next in the Latvian’s plan to take over New York city? Free bagels for everyone coming out of Penn Station? One thing’s for sure, whatever is next, New Yorkers will probably love it.