Knicks Legend Patrick Ewing Praises Kristaps Porzingis


New York Knicks legend Patrick Ewing continue to praise the rookie Kristaps Porzingis.

During a preseason visit to the Charlotte Hornets, Ewing who is an assistant coach with the team, compared 7’3″, 240 pounds Latvian rookie to Kevin Garnett.

"“All I know is he’s big, can shoot, athletic,’’“That’s yet to be determined. He’s slight, but there were a lot of people who were skinny who still got it done. [Kevin] Garnett was skinny and he had a great career.’’"

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Ewing is watching Porzingis and continues to be impressed.

"“I’ve seen the dunks on ESPN,’’“From what I’ve seen, he’s doing extremely well. A lot of great putback dunks. He’s a lot different than me. He’s more of a perimeter big. I could post it and shoot it. But he looks like a fine addition. He’s a force to be reckoned with.’’"

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With Porzingis already dunking on big names such as LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, and Greg Monroe, the new fan favorite decided to dunk on the whole Toronto Raptors‘ frontline. Adding James Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas, and Luis Scola names to his list of victims.

Porzingis is indeed a force to be reckoned with. Nine games into this young season and Porzingis is averaging 3.3 offensive rebounds per game. There has only been three rookies since the 2000s to average at least 3.3 offensive rebounds per game. Those players are Kevin Love (3.4), Dwight Howard (3.5), and Emeka Okafor (3.8), per Basketball-Reference. Porzingis is a special talent, especially on the offensive glass.

Ewing gave a glance of what Charlotte’s scouting report was on how to stop Porzingis from adding any Hornets to his highlight reel.

"“You have to hit him before he starts going,’’“That’s the only way to stop him. The man is 7-3. If you don’t hit him before he hits paint and he gets his full head of steam, he’s going to go over the top of you.’’"

Porzingis grabbed two offensive rebounds Wednesday night, but did not posterize any Hornets.

Ewing really likes Porzingis’ ability to crash the offensive glass, not just being the typical stretch-four, getting his hand’s dirty in the paint.

"“Most of the big people — he’s a perimeter big. When I played, the bigs [at] 7-3, you’d be in the blocks. But he has a versatile game. His game is suited to how the NBA is right now. He’s doing a very good job. He’s not just shooting jump shots, he’s getting in there. He’s not just a finesse big man.’’"

Next: Is It Time for the Knicks to Give Patrick Ewing a Shot?

Currently Porzingis is averaging 11.6 points and 9 rebounds per game. The only rookie averaging more rebounds than Porzingis is Karl-Anthony Towns, with 10.4 rebounds per game. In fact you can argue that Towns is the only player better than Porzingis in the 2015 rookie class. Good job Phil Jackson!