Sportress of Blogitude

Tim Duncan praises Kristaps Porzingis: ‘He was impressive’


On a night when he became the NBA’s all-time winningest player with a single team courtesy of the San Antonio Spurs’ 94-84 win over the New York Knicks, Tim Duncan spent some time praising an up-and-comer in the league ranks.

The Spurs veteran delivered some high praise to Kristaps Porzingis, saying the Knicks rookie was “impressive” while putting up a  nifty 13-point, 14-rebound performance while also contributing two blocks and three steals in 24 minutes.

“He is a young guy, but his skill set is there,” Duncan observed, via ESPN.

While his play has been understandably uneven at times given his rookie status, Porzingis has not only lived up to expectations in the team’s first four games, he may have exceeded even the most optimistic of Knicks fans. He set the Internet on fire Monday night with his nasty putback jam.

Porzingis, a star in the making who rocked cornrows as a youngster,  is averaging 11.8 points and 8.3 rebounds so far this season, more than making for an excellent debut on the NBA circuit.

Count Carmelo Anthony, whose relationship with the rookie got off to a slightly inauspicious start, among those impressed with Porzingis, particularly his all-around solid performance Monday, albeit in a loss.

“I thought he had a brilliant game,” he said. “I thought that this was one of his best games so far.”

Porzingis is on his way to a stellar rookie campaign. Whether or not he can keep it up remains to be seen, although he has arguably exceeded expectations of skeptics who thought his game and frame wouldn’t translate well to the NBA.

Monday’s performance — and Duncan’s high praise — suggests otherwise.

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