Sooner than later, New York will develop that duo as the source of its future glory.
While most expect Porzingis to see significant playing time from opening night on, questions have persisted about whether or not he’d start early in 2015-16. Head coach Derek Fisher finally put that issue to rest—sort of.
“We’ll see what happens with Kris, but I like him in there as well,’’ Fisher said, referring to the starting unit. “The good part of all this, we can choose another guy and we’ll be fine, too. That’s what’s different about this team.’’
That depth and versatility is both a gift and a curse.
The Knicks have options at power forward, including Kyle O’Quinn, Kevin Seraphin and Derrick Williams. O’Quinn and Williams have been preseason stars for the Knicks, and Seraphin hasn’t been too far behind them.
Nevertheless, Fisher would prefer to see Porzingis as the starting 4, per Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.
Fisher started preseason with Porzingis as the starting power forward, and, as of Saturday, the coach hadn’t hedged — “we like him there,” he said.
The Knicks’ interior depth may be its greatest strength, but it could also provide its biggest challenge.
The locks in the starting lineup are Arron Afflalo at shooting guard, Carmelo Anthony at small forward and Robin Lopez at center. If only for the time being, Jose Calderon has a tight grip on the starting point guard role, as well.
What’s unclear, however, is how the rest of the big men will be shuffled around at power forward.
O’Quinn, Porzingis, Seraphin and Williams will all command upwards of 20 minutes per game. All three are versatile in their own ways, which should make the proper rotation easier for Fisher to assemble.
The unfortunate side of this is that having three preseason standouts and a Top 5 pick makes for difficult roster decisions.
If Fisher has his way, Porzingis will continue to develop as the lone source of inexperience in the starting lineup. Afflalo, Anthony, Calderon and Lopez are all long-time NBA veterans, which means the rookie would be the only exception in the starting lineup.
As it presently stands, Fisher and the Knicks hope that such a balance will be the perfect way to bring Porzingis along early in 2015-16.
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