New York Knicks Forward Kristaps Porzingis Better At Center

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis has been really effective at the center position, even though head coach Derek Fisher is reluctant to lean on his rookie as the main big man, according to ESPN.

Against the Orlando Magic earlier this week, Fisher opted to sit Porzingis on the bench in the fourth quarter because he was heavily outweighed by the 260 pounds Nikola Vucevic.

Fans at Madison Square Garden were none too pleased with the decision Derek made, so they chanted for Kristaps to be inserted into the game to replace the struggling Robin Lopez.

When asked about the matchup, the 240 pound Kristaps Porzingis stated that he would not have tried to use strength as his main weapon in defending Vucevic, who scored 26 points.

To his credit, the 20-year-old Porzingis stated that he would have used his 7’3″ frame and athleticism to get around Nikola and fluster the Magic starting center with weak side blocks.

Thanks to team president Phil Jackson, the Knicks now have good depth on the front line. Derrick Williams, Kyle O’Quinn, Kevin Seraphin, and Lopez have all been very solid thus far.

New York needs an upgrade at the guard positions, so Jackson and Derek Fisher might be inclined to trade one of those four solid big men before the NBA trade deadline in February.

Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher [Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]

A trade like that would enable the New York Knicks to give Kristaps more minutes at center, which would help the team counteract the small ball trend that is sweeping the NBA.

Playing Kristaps Porzingis at center would also make Knicks star Carmelo Anthony a more dangerous offensive threat and prevent him from chasing quicker defenders on the perimeter.

Last season, Anthony proved to be quite effective when he was the second biggest player on the floor for New York, a move that Fisher has been wanting to experiment more with.

Moving Carmelo up in the lineup also enables Derek to give more minutes to the versatile Lance Thomas, a rotational player that the New York Knicks coach is extremely fond of.

Since Kristaps Porzingis is a legitimate deep threat from the NBA three point line, that leaves Carmelo Anthony a lot of room to operate on offense, which is really hard to defend.

If opposing big men are concerned about preventing Anthony from getting to the rim, then Porzingis would have room to soar in from the perimeter for his trademark offensive rebounds.

Carmelo and Kristaps could become one of the hardest combinations to defend in the NBA if Derek Fisher can implement this scheme into his version of the Triangle Offense.

Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony [Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]

In order to convince Fisher to go with this smaller lineup, Kristaps Porzingis is going to bed to continue to add weight and build muscles, something that he has diligently been doing.

There’s a risk with Porzingis gaining weight too quickly, though, because it could somewhat affect his ability to utilize his athleticism, one of his biggest assets, against opponents.

This is a move that will most likely happen, as it is easier for Kristaps to become a top five center in the NBA than at the forward position, especially since LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Anthony Davis are still around.

At the center position, Kristaps Porzingis would be competing with Jahlil Okafor, Karl Anthony Towns, Andre Drummond and DeMarcus Cousins for the crown of being the best in the NBA.

Porzingis has a chance to become the best Knicks center since NBA legend Patrick Ewing manned the position for the team back in the 1980s and 1990s.

Derek Fisher needs to unleash Kristaps Porzingis soon.

[Featured Photo by Kristaps Porzingis/Getty Images]