Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis holds own against 76ers' Jahlil Okafor (VIDEO)

And just like that, Kristaps Porzingis has suddenly turned the Knicks fans' boos in Brooklyn into woos out in Vegas.

The lanky Latvian and Jahlil Okafor — who was taken third, right in front of Porzingis in the NBA Draft — had their first head-to-head meeting and Porzingis ended up holding his own.

Okafor was smooth in the post and his strength bothered the 7-foot-3, 233-pound Porzingis, who called it "a little mismatch." But with the game on the line Tuesday, the Latvian big man came through and again heard chants of "Por-Zing-is" from some Knicks' fans in the Thomas & Mack Center.

Porzingis blocked  Okafor's shot three times. And although Okafor had the better overall game, finishing with 18 points compared to nine for Porzingis, it was Knicks rookie's blocked shot in OT late helped the Knicks to an 84-81 win over the 76ers.

"He loves to compete," Derek Fisher said. "That's why we're excited about the potential that he has. A lot of the young guys don't love the game and playing and competing and mixing it up the way he does. I don't think he really thinks about his frame as a disadvantage. He's willing to get down and dirty. I think he showed that.

"He stood right up to Okafor and played him. Statistically, Okafor won the game, but Kristaps' team won. That's the major stat that really tells you the difference between guys."

It's only summer league, but the Knicks are 3-0 and Porzingis continues to impress.

All together Knicks fans: Frederic who?

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