The New York Knicks have one of the most dynamic players in the NBA in Kristaps Porzingis. An anonymous scout believes he should be playing center.
The New York Knicks are currently 5-7 and searching for answers. Though the team record is far from terrible, there have been troubling inconsistencies from a team that was expected to be significantly better than it has been.
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Everyone seems to have an opinion about what the Knicks should do to turn things around, but there’s a common theme: Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis has become a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the floor. His offensive arsenal is as well-rounded as any player’s in the NBA and his defensive potential is second to none, but many have questioned if he’s at the right position.
According to Sekou Smith of NBA.com, an anonymous Eastern Conference scout believes the Knicks need to play Porzingis at center.
Did you see what he did to the Pistons? That’s the way you have to use him right now. You need to give him options on how he wants to attack. I’ll say this, he’s a matchup nightmare at the five. An absolute nightmare. He’s going to outrun any other center in the league and he has that length advantage at 7-3 that’s just impossible to deal with in certain situations.
The scout continued:
And yes, he’s going to take his lumps trying to guard some fives on the other end. So what. He’s not strong enough to dominate on a consistent basis right now anyway. He’s still just too light for that. But with him at the five and Carmelo [Anthony] at the four, you’re looking at the Knicks at their best.
This isn’t the first time that such a move has been suggested.
Porzingis is 7’3″ with a near 7’5″ wingspan and an uncanny level of athleticism and coordination. He moves fluidly with and without the ball, is agile on the defensive end of the floor, and is genuinely unstoppable when confident in his shot.
Perhaps most applicably, he’s a positionally versatile player who can thrive at power forward and center.
As explained by the anonymous scout, the appeal of playing Porzingis at the 5 is multifaceted. He’s too skilled and athletic for the average NBA center to handle, which is reason enough to make the move to the 5.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this change is that it’d place Anthony at power forward—a position he’s capable of dominating from.
With Anthony at the 4 and Porzingis at the 5, the Knicks would have two borderline elite scorers for their respective positions. The Knicks would also have the ability to go small along the perimeter and improve the spacing with five capable shooters.
It stands to reason that the Knicks could have a lineup consisting of Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Justin Holiday, Carmelo Anthony, and Kristaps Porzingis—all capable scorers.