Giannis Raves About Porzingis: 'He Can Do Everything'
DALLAS - Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the ensuing shutdown of the NBA and our self-quarantining, all of us who love NBA basketball are left with plenty of time on our hands. Watch old Dallas Mavericks games? Cool. Video games (whether they involve the Mavs or not)? Cool.
Gathering reflections from NBA greats on how great the Mavs might be whenever they are allowed back on the floor.
That might be the coolest pastime of all.
In his recent IG live session, Milwaukee Bucks superstar and MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was asked to share some thoughts about Mavs big man Kristaps Porzingis. KP has obviously done his share of damage on the floor in this, his first season back and healthy and his first full season in Dallas. He's also accomplished some things against the Bucks, which "The Greek Freak'' experienced earlier this year in an up-close-and-personal manner.
“I think he’s a great talent,” Antetokounmpo said of "The Unicorn,'' and that much has always been true. However - and we're aware that we're talking about a guy who did make an All-Star Game as a member of the Knicks - the "talent'' is maturing into real numbers, on both ends of the floor, and in ways (rebounding!) that were not necessarily predictable a year ago.
Giannis seems to agree.
“He can do a lot of things on the court,'' Antetokounmpo said. "He’s back healthy, he’s playing great. He can do everything, block shots, rebound, shoot the ball, facilitate for his teammates and he’s a great guy also.”
Porzingis, of course, missed the entire 2018-19 season while recovering from his ACL tear. To some degree, the Mavs have eased him into his return, with occasional "load management'' designations. But he's physically stronger than ever before, and he's playing with better teammates (that is, Luka Doncic) than ever before, and it's paying off in the numbers. Before the NBA suspended the season due to COVID-19, KP was averaging 19.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.7 assists.
Most of those numbers are on-par with what KP did annually in New York - except for the rebounds. Once upon a time, it was suggested that rebounding was not a Porzingis strength ... and we certainly know once upon a time it wasn't a Dallas strength. But the Mavs are in the process of transitioning greatly - or, at least, will be in process once basketball comes back - as evidenced both by their perch in seventh place in the Western Conference standings and the play of Porzingis.
We already understood the Mavs had something special in "The Unicorn.'' But as a time-filler? We're happy to accept the endorsement of "The Greek Freak,'' too.