October 17, 2017

Kristaps Porzingis reminds us why he’s such a special player at NBA Africa Game

2017/08/05 2:11 pm 2:11 pm2:11 pm0 0 comments

Many people love comparing Kristaps Porzingis to Dirk Nowitzki, and there are definite similarities, but considering KP’s athleticism, handles and quick release makes him much more modern and sleek version, so contemporary and smooth that the comparison should be with another unicorn of a player: Kevin Durant. What’s the chances that we’d see two unicorns playing in the same era? You have a better chance of getting struck by lightning. There’s a better chance of Conor MacGregor actually defeating Floyd Mayweather. In fact, hitting the lottery might be a safer roll of the dice (or sports betting at 10bet) than have predicted that we’d see two seven foot players with the speed, size, skills, and smooth jumpers that we see with Porzingis and Durant.

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Seeing as the New York Knicks have only recently made news for more infamous off-court drama than on-court play, it’s been a while since anyone witnessed the truly special player that Porzingis is. The 7’3 Latvian reminded us of his amazing combination of size, skill and athleticism at the NBA Africa Game on Saturday.

Unicorn Shows Off Unicorn Skills in Africa Game

When Kyle Lowry lobbed the ball ahead to Porzingis on the run, a floppy-haired Kristaps had to improvise as he snuck in-between two defenders to catch up with the pass. The “unicorn” rose up, realized that he wasn’t going to be able to control the ball and in one movement, tapped the ball gently forward off the backboard and into the basket. And was fouled. Even at a freakishly tall 7-3, this wasn’t a small task to do on the run and how to properly gauge his momentum.

Later in the first half, the barely 22-year old (his birthday was August 2nd) faced up Minnesota Timbervolves center Gorgui Deng, crossed him up with a high dribbble — there’s no low dribbles with Kristaps, and then let fly a rainbow jumper off that bounce. It’s a beautiful move to watch:

That’s a 7-3 man right there pulling out a nice crossover then floating a high arcing shot that splashes down into the net. The touch one has to have to pull that off at that range and at his size is really amazing. Then later in the game, the Eastern European big man beat his defenders down the court for two laughingly easy looking dunks.

Porzingis ended the game with 14 points and 8 rebounds in the NBA friendly. His 14 points were second only to Jaylen Brown’s 15 points for the World Team. Victor Oladipo led Team Africa with 28 points. Here’s the full boxscore for the game.

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