Kristaps Porzingis entered New York showing a poise and maturity beyond his then 19 years, but that was off the court — as he contended with boos from ignorant haters and wannabe GMs. On the court Porzingis’s maturity was supposed to take a little longer. But that’s not how it’s worked out. The Porzingis Project — Phil Jackson’s multi-million dollar, multi-year investment in the 7’3″ Latvian talent — has zoomed from alpha to beta to full-featured launch in a New York minute.
After winning praise from all over during the summer league (Big Game James Worthy called Porzingis everything but the second coming), Porzingis worked his way into the tallest starting frontcourt in the NBA. He just started displaying his repertoire and hasn’t relented. The Porzingis Project is now further along — stronger, faster, more agile, robust — than even his supporters anticipated for this phase of his young career. Porzingis leads the Knicks in rebounds (8.6) and steals (1.3) per game (he has good hands). He’s blocking 1.3 shots too. And he’s scoring 12.3 in just 25 minutes a night. The Knicks are 3-4 to start the season.