Opening night of the 2017-18 New York Knicks season will be remembered as the passing of the baton ceremony. Carmelo Anthony in attendance to officially hand over the keys to the Knicks franchise to his former protege Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis in his debut as the Knicks number one scoring option, put all of his tools on display. KP poured in 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and included one statement block on his former mentor. Porzinigs put on a show, however, his teammates didn’t.
KP was his teams leading scorer, the second leading scorer on the Knicks was Enes Kanter with a whopping total of 10 points. While Porzingis dominated, his team was nowhere to be found, something Carmelo Anthony knows a little bit about.
In year one of the Porzingis era in New York, it’s evident that the correct pieces are yet to be placed around him. The Knicks cannot waste a talent like the 22-year-old Porzingis as they did to Carmelo Anthony.
Luckily KP is a lot younger than Melo when the Knicks acquired him.
Considering the age of Porzingis, the Knicks have a window of opportunity to execute on their draft selections and develop their young prospects. Drafting and developing poorly is a recipe for disaster in the near future.
The development of the Knicks younger players should be their absolute number one priority this season, not wins and losses. For these prospects to be developed correctly, they have to get into the game; this is something that obviously needs to be said to Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek.
Willy Hernangomez and Frank Ntilikina combined for a total of 12 minutes in last nights game. The advancement of these two players are essential to the Knicks future with Porzingis, and giving them such little minutes to play will get the Knicks nowhere.
Ramon Sessions, Kyle O’Quinn, and Courtney Lee are the three players who absorbed the minutes that Herangomez and Ntilikina should have gotten.
None of those three players are apart of this teams future, so them on the floor with Porzingis while the players that are apart of the Knicks future are watching on the bench hardly makes any sense.
The Knicks are not going anywhere this season; there is no debating that, that’s why it’s hard to grasp why these players didn’t step on the floor. Why not allow your young prospects gain chemistry and experience with KP on the court.
There is still a ton of time left on Kristaps Porzingis’ clock, but being unable to show stability and put your priorities in order as a franchise will make that time double in speed. If game one of this season was any indication, the Knicks need to change things up somewhat soon.
[Featured Image by J Pat Carter/Getty Images]