Tuesday 18th June 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Anthony Davis Impressed by Knicks Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis has the approval of Anthony Davis.

Which means Porzingis is officially free to retire.

Davis and Porzingis squared off against one another on Sunday. The box score would suggest that Davis got the better of him, and on an individual level, he clearly did. But the New York Knicks would end up beating the New Orleans Pelicans 95-87, and while Porzingis wasn’t perfect, he did hold his own at times against Davis—something the one-eyebrowed wonder was quick to admit afterward, per the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy:

“Porzingis is a great player. He can shoot, he can drive and he is active,” the Pelicans forward said. “It is going to be fun battling him.”

Porzingis was equally, if not more complimentary of Davis, citing the Pelicans big man as something of a basketball muse:

“He’s one of the guys that I look up and try to learn the game from,” Porzingis said. “He proved once again why he’s so good. He just — all the baskets he got, he knows what he’s doing. He shoots at the right time. He’s running fast breaks. It’s hard to stop him, his all-around game. I try to be aggressive at the beginning. He came back to me. I think he’s the best power forward right now in the NBA. It’s tough for sure, but it was a good experience for me.

Indeed, it was most definitely a good experience for Porzingis, who, at minimum, got a taste of what someone with his physical tools can develop into. Davis is far more polished than Porzingis now, and the Latvian will probably never be as smooth, but the NBA is trending in the direction of shot-blocking bigs who can run and space the floor while also torching defenses with their explosion.

Davis, in a way, is what the finished product of Porzingis should look like—the more extreme version, sure, but nonetheless a good role model for the Knicks rookie to emulate.

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