Sky the limit for towering Knicks rookie Porzingis

Fri Dec 4, 2015 12:29pm EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Knicks fans booed when New York announced their selection of a 7-foot-3, teenaged foreign import from Latvia with the fourth pick of the NBA Draft last June.

Now cheers of "Porzingis, Porzingis" fill Madison Square Garden, along with a fresh burst of optimism for a franchise that had fallen on hard times.

"It's a big adjustment for me still. I'm still learning," Kristaps Porzingis said after leading the Knicks to victory over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. "A lot of road games, a lot of games in a short period of time."

Knicks fans can hardly wait to see how a well adjusted Porzingis will do after the forward/center helped a team that was 17-65 last season make a 9-10 start to the young 2015-16 campaign with impressive play on both sides of the court.

The league, his team mates and rivals alike have also noticed.

Porzingis, 20, averaged 13.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over his first 19 games and was named this season's first Eastern Conference rookie player of the month.

"That was a helluva pick," said Philadelphia coach Brett Brown. "His upside is going to be whatever he wants to be. He loves the game and there is a toughness in him. I think he is unique."

Porzingis came to the NBA from Spain's professional league with a reputation as a fine shooter, but he has shown the potential to possess a commanding all-around game.   Continued...

Nov 29, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) drives the ball against Houston Rockets power forward Terrence Jones (6) during the third quarter  of the game at Madison Square Garden.  The Rockets won 116-111. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports