Say what? Get used to saying Antetokounmpo and Porzingis names

Get used to pronouncing the names “Giannis Antetokounmpo” and “Kristaps Porzingis” as the two international unicorns have made a significant jump from rising stars last season to legitimate NBA superstars this season.

The two’s names aren’t just coming into their own this season, but they’re taking it by storm; both are averaging over 30 points per game — a major increase in point production over 2016-17. As of this post, the two are #1 and #3 in the points per game (James Harden is #2).

Next-Level Unicorns

Both Porzingis and Antetokounmpo are what NBA’ers are calling “unicorns” — players blessed with height hovering around seven feet tall, athleticism of a player a foot shorter, and the dribbling and/or shooting skills of a guard. In other words, they can do it all on either side of the court.

Due to his wingspan and ability to take three dribbles to go coast-to-coast, Antetokounmpo was labeled the “Greek Freak” his rookie year . This season he’s pairing his length and athleticism that allowed his highlight-worthy long strides to the baskets, with improved strength and confidence. That’s all come together in his game to the tune of 31.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists. 1.8 blocks and 1.4 steals while shooting nearly 60% from the field.

Porzingis leap to superstardom might be part off-season work and confidence, but the main reason why his scoring average has increased 12 ppg (60%) is because he’s no longer in the shadow of Carmelo Anthony. With Carmelo traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Porzingis is now the primary scoring option with the freedom to put up shots without the fear of stealing anyone’s thunder (so to speak). On the season, Porzinigis is averaging 30.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.3 blocks all the while shooting 51% from the field and 41% from distance.

Giannis has played 12 games and Porzinigis just 11 games, but don’t think that this is some kind of fluke or dismissed as an extended hot streak. Antetokounmpo long arms and Porzingis’s smooth jumper aren’t going anywhere and both are just 22 years old. It looks like the league have two new superstars to deal with and 29 other teams will have to reckon with Antetokounmpo and Porzingis for the next dozen years.

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