The Mavericks got the win, but for Knicks’ fans Kristaps Porzingis and the future remain the story.
Porzingis went up against the man he is most often compared to — future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki — and impressed with 28 points on 13-of-18 shooting, including being 6-of-6 on contested looks (according to NBA.com). All that impressed Nowitzki himself, who said this after the game (via Ian Begley of ESPN).
“He’s probably way ahead of the curve. When I was 20, I was scared to death out there. … He’s almost averaging a double-double, so he’s way better than I was at 20. So the comparison’s probably unfair to me.
“He’s for real,” Nowitzki said after scoring a team-high 25 points for the Mavericks (13-9). “We’ve said it before. He’s tougher than you think. He’s long. He’s athletic. He can put the ball on the floor. … The sky’s the limit for this kid, not only because he’s good but also because I heard he lives and breathes basketball. He stays in the gym, he works hard and doesn’t let all this hype here get to his head. You’ve to root for him.”