Knicks: Kristaps Porzingis Eager To Play With Derrick Rose

Mar 24, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) shoots the ball in front of Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) during first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 24, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) shoots the ball in front of Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) during first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports /

New York Knicks phenom Kristaps Porzingis can’t wait to run the fast break with recently acquired point guard Derrick Rose.

The New York Knicks are building around Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, with Derrick Rose entering a contract-year that will utilized to determine his long-term value. True as that may be, one can’t help but acknowledge the explosive potential of the Porzingis and Rose combination.

Rose may never return to an MVP-caliber level, but he and Porzingis are perfect complements from a basketball perspective.

Rose isn’t the athlete that he used to be, but he can still get out into the open court and make plays in transition. That’s exactly what Porzingis touched upon when he was asked for his thoughts on playing with Rose.

During recent appearance at Summer League, Porzingis explained what he expects out of playing with Rose in Jeff Hornacek‘s system. Per Fran Blinebury of

"“I think we played a little too static. Just ‘bah, bah, bah, this, this, this.’ That’s why it’s great that we got a guy like D-Rose, who can really push the ball. We gotta keep up with him. We gotta run the floor. It’s gonna be a lot of easy buckets for me if I run the fast break and he can throw an oop to me. So I’m really excited about that idea of playing quicker and faster.”"

The thought of Rose and Porzingis running the fast break together is like a basketball fantasy.

Rose has lost some of his burst due to the multitude of knee injuries he’s endured over the past five seasons. He’s still one of the faster and more explosive players in the NBA, however, and that should prove valuable under coach Hornacek.

Hornacek wants to push the pace, and there are few players more capable of doing so than Rose and Porzingis.

At 7’3″, Pozringis is the ultimate trailer in transition.

Porzingis can step into a 3-point field goal if Rose opts to pass back when a man is in front of him. He’s also mobile enough to run the lane and take a pass in stride for a finish at or above the rim.

Considering Porzingis is a 7’3″ goliath with a 7’6″ wingspan, it’s safe to say that Rose will have some freedom and range with his lobs.

In the halfcourt, this dynamic duo could be just as dangerous. Rose is still capable of breaking an opponent down with his handles and getting to the basket for a creative finish, which births an intriguing opportunity.

According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, Porzingis believes that he can take his game to the next level by merely playing alongside Rose—and putback opportunities are a major reason why.

"“I’m sure he’s going to help us at the guard position and I love his game, how explosive he is, how quick he is, how he runs in transition. That will help us play faster and not be static all the time. I think he’s going to really help us win.One thing I’m already imagining, he’s a point guard that loves to drive and he’s explosive. After he misses layups I can get those putbacks. That’s one thing I’m thinking about already. We all know that he’s a great passer and when he slashes he can give you the pass and kick-out to the 3-pointer you just got to be ready for a guy like that with those quick passes that he makes, you got to be ready to make the next play or shoot the ball.”"

That’s exactly what Knicks fans are hoping to see from Rose and Porzingis in 2016-17.

Mere weeks into his Knicks career, Porzingis emerged as one of the NBA’s putback kings. He threw it down on some of the biggest names in the Association, thus earning himself an early highlight reel.

Exhibit, A, B, and C:

It’s not a bad thing that Rose will give Porzingis the opportunity to add more putback dunks to his catalog.

When Rose drives, the entire opposing defense takes notice. He may not be the dunk artist that he used to be, but he’s still a quick slasher who can creatively finish at the rim.

With Porzingis and Joakim Noah following his misses, even the shots Rose doesn’t make should help build his confidence.

Nothing is guaranteed in the NBA, but all signs point to the Knicks being a joy to watch in 2016-17.