Carmelo Anthony isn’t digging the Kristaps Porzingis craze that’s sweeping New York and the rest of the world.
Who knew he was such a party pooper?
From the New York Post‘s Marc Berman:
“There’s still a learning curve for him,” Anthony said. “Last year, nobody knew what to expect — all new to everybody. This year, he’s going to be a focal point of the scouting report, trying to figure out how to stop him. It’s a matter of being smarter and learning the game more.
“He still doesn’t know the game that much. He’s still a young, second-year player. We put too much pressure on him to kind of be great so fast. I just want him to get the opportunity to grow as a player. He doesn’t know everything right now. He’s just 21, second year in the league.”
So, like, this is fair. Porzingis is barely 21, and the book on him is out. Some players experience a sophomore slump for that latter reason, when they become a bigger priority for opposing defenses.
And then there’s the Knicks’ roster, which Anthony didn’t mention. Derrick Rose, if healthy, and Anthony will be assuming the lion’s share of the touches, and it’s not quite clear if Porzingis will have the chance to be used as a featured weapon when the team is at full strength. So there is value in tempering expectations.
But Porzingis won’t allow it.
The 7’3″ Latvian tower has already refined existing and added different elements to his game. The release on his jumper is quicker and smoother. He looks far more comfortable handling the ball. He has an even better touch around the basket. He’s making quicker decisions, faster passes.
It’s tough not to get excited about that package of talent—particularly when it’s wrapped in a 7’3″ man-child, and especially when said 7’3″ man-child plays for a team that doesn’t have much else to genuinely hype up.