I have been arguing for the past few weeks that for the New York Knicks to be a great team, Kristaps Porzingis needs to be their number one option. I honestly don’t know how anyone can argue against that.
Porzingis is something the league has never seen before. You may be thinking “we have Dirk Nowitzki!” In a way yes, Dirk is a 7 footer from Europe that can shoot. Not to disrespect Dirk, but Porzingis is different.
To start off, Porzingis stands at an amazing 7 foot 3 inches. He is much more athletic than Dirk ever was, which helps him on both the offensive end and defensive ends. Porzingis has a chance to become one of the top defenders in the league, something that Dirk never accomplished. In only his second year, Porzingis is averaging almost two blocks and one steal pre game.
However, back to the Knicks. Standing at 7’3, Porzingis is a walking mismatch for almost everyone in the league. His shooting ability, quickness, and speed is too much for most big men in the league to guard, and his height make it impossible for any guard in the league to defend him.
Having said all that, I still don’t know why people try and say that Carmelo is still the best player in New York. Yes, he is a nine time All-Star, scoring machine, and has three gold medals. I am not denying his greatness but aside from all that, there’s not much on his resume.
Melo has only been out the first round twice in his career and only went to the conference finals in 2009. However I credit that more to Chauncey Billups because in 2008 with pretty much the same roster aside from Allen Iverson, Denver got swept in the first round to the Lakers, while with Billups they were able to push Los Angeles to six games in the conference finals.
— The Step Back (@The_Step_Back) December 19, 2016
Thus, Melo hasn’t really done much as the number one option. Melo wants the ball in his hand for the game winning shot, and I am alright with that because he has proven to everyone he is clutch. However, the offense should not run through him, it should run through Porzingis.
Everyone needs to accept their role and let Porzingis spread his wings. This especially applies to Derrick Rose. As I’m watching the ending of the Knicks vs. Hawks game, Melo was ejected in the first half and Rose took it upon himself to be the number one option. He shot 9/28 and 2/9 in the 4th quarter and OT. He took 3 to 4 crucial shots to take the lead or tie. On the last play in OT, Porzingis was being guarded by Schroder and Rose decided to drive in, turn the ball over, and eventually lose the game.
Phil Jackson, the Zen master that he is needs to tell the team that they need to play through Porzingis if they want to be successful.