The Knicks just dealt with the face of their franchise being unwilling to play the position that would help them win most with the style of play in the current NBA, I am talking about Carmelo Anthony’s unwillingness to play the four for the Knicks the past few years despite the fact that he could be the perfect small-ball four.
Now that Kristaps Porzingis is officially the face of the franchise that problem persists, Porzingis doesn’t want to play center.
Here is an excerpt from a story by Stefan Bondy of the New York Post:
“I think it’s better for us,” Porzingis said Wednesday. “Me at the 4, especially if I’m playing against a non-shooting 4, I can do a lot. When I’m playing against the 5, I’m fighting with the big a lot of times and I’m wasting a lot of energy. Obviously, offensively I have an advantage at center, but I’m just more comfortable playing at the 4.”
“Fours are usually smaller, and I can shoot over them easier,” Porzingis said. “If it’s a non-shooter at power forward, then I can be under the rim on defense and protecting the rim and that’s what I love.”
While there is some merit to what Porzingis is saying about playing at the four will prevent him some of the physical wear and tear of playing the center position that could be difficult for his slight frame and sap him of some of his vitality to be the Knicks number one option on the offensive end, everybody knows that Porzingis is potentially the dream center with the direction the league is heading.
A 7’3″ player with his coordination and athleticism that can be a rim-protector on defense and stretch and run the floor to space out the offense on the other end. That is the most dangerous weapon you can employ at the center position in 2017.
The Knicks aren’t necessarily committed to winning right now anyway and with Joakim Noah, Willy Hernangomez and Enes Kanter on the roster there is not a great need for Porzingis to play much center for the time being. If the Knicks want to become a contender in the future though, it feels like their best path is to build around Porzingis as their freakishly skilled center.