Kristaps Porzingis

© Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

KT: I Watch Sports, But Even I Don’t Know How Good Porzingis Is

Kevin 'KT' Turner
June 24, 2019 - 7:21 am

You can list the number of Mavs games I watch per year and it’s definitely closer to 82 than it is 60.  I watch other teams around the league, especially some of those good late night matchups on TNT, but i’m not the NBA guy on our show or on our station.  I follow the game, but I’m not going to sit here and tell you i’m the basketball guy.

So when you hear Porzingis and know what his game is about and that he’s “the unicorn”, it’s still not a given that my brain will organically register that I fully understand how good he is.  Is this my fault? I think probably not, but maybe it is. Aside from the annual 11am Christmas Day game at Madison Square Garden, I haven’t sought out a ton of Knicks games over the years. Nobody I know seeks out doo doo.  

With free agency approaching, Skin has said multiple times on our show, “I don’t think people realize how good Porzingis is.”  Some will have the reaction that it’s just Skin being a Mavs homer, some will totally agree with Skin, and others will say how could we know he hasn’t played an NBA game in a long time.  Skin’s said that so many times over the last few weeks that it clicked in my head that i’m in the boat of people who just don’t know how good he is. Why? Because I haven’t watched him play.  I watch sports, but I haven’t watched Porzingis play much. Try watching him on Christmas Day with family members yapping, it’s hard to focus.

I know of the aura of Porzingis, I do not know what he is.  I know the stats, but I have no feel for him. Again, I don’t think it’s my fault.  I haven’t exactly been rushing out to see Aaron Afflalo, Langston Galloway, Ron Baker, or Lance Thomas.  All players who got legitimate minutes in KP’s Knicks era. Don’t forget old Carmelo. It was a garbage franchise offering a garbage quality of ball, i’m sorry I don’t watch the Knicks play a lot.

So what’s the point of this rambling? Number one, to get clicks in a highly pressurized workplace where I get the vibe that I could be canned any day now.  Two, to discuss how good KP really is, and three, basketball free agency is around the corner and everybody thinks i’m just a football guy, so considering i’m the 3rd guy on my show, I want to prove that I can do it all.

Let’s begin with the basic numbers:

15/16: 72G 14ppg 7rpg 2bpg 42% FG 33% 3FG

16/17: 66G 18ppg 7rpg 2bpg 45% FG 36% 3FG

17/18: 48G 23ppg 7rpg 2bpg 44% FG 40% 3FG

That was good enough for 16th in the league in PPG in 2017/18 before he got hurt.  Just behind Joel Embiid and ahead of All-Star free agents Jimmy Butler and Kemba Walker.  Whoa! Now that’s just one cherry picked stat, but I didn’t realize that was the company he was keeping in terms of putting the ball in the bucket.  Again, I knew he was good, but to what extent would require watching 30mpg of post-prime Courtney Lee and let me tell you, I’m not about that life.

To me the best basketball writer in town in Bobby Karalla of Mavs.com, and I wanted to reference some of his great work for a couple other examples of what Porzingis truly is statistically.  

The full piece is here, and I’ll pull out a couple of excerpts as well.

A couple of notes from Bobby’s piece include that Porzingis scored 1 point per possession in the post following a switch.  Whoa. Bobby points out in the article that Anthony Davis, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Joel Embiid are the company in which KP keeps in that regard.

Also in Bobby’s article linked above is the note that “Of the 21 players who picked and popped and took the spot-up jumper at least 50 times in 2017/2018, Porzingis was 2nd in points per possession at 1.259-ranking him better than players like Karl Anthony-Towns, Marc Gasol, and Dirk Nowtizki.”

Whoa!!! Thanks to Bobby for that incredible piece.  Trust me, there’s tons of more great information in there so give it a read and give him a follow on twitter @bobbykaralla.  He’s also a good person, so why not follow good people.

 

Lastly, let’s talk about the post injury eye test.  Multiple times on the Ben and Skin show heard 3-7pm Monday through Friday on 105.3 The Fan, Mavs analyst Jeff “Skin” Wade has mentioned a couple instances in which he saw Porzingis working out.  Keep in mind that the Mavs and Porzingis collectively agreed to not rush him back last year, making sure that his health is a priority next season. Skin mentioned that KP was trading step back 3’s with Luka, noting that his handles are elite considering he’s 7’3”.  He saw it. He saw the touch, the shooting form, the athleticism. He saw it. Just feet from it, he saw it. I believe it.

 

My goal here wasn’t to get you hyped for the Mavs, I have no dog in the hunt (aside from hopefully getting clicks that the boss will notice), I just want them to be good again.  It’s on, and I didn’t even realize it until recently. It’s on. Go Mavs.