No. 4 overall pick Kristaps Porzingis has adeptly handled his rookie season thus far (Keith Allison/Creative Commons).

No. 4 overall pick Kristaps Porzingis has adeptly handled his rookie season thus far (Keith Allison/Creative Commons).

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Following a brutal season the New York Knicks would much rather you forgot, the team jumped out to a solid 22-22 start this campaign. Unfortunately, the team subsequently experienced a bitter downturn in which it fired its second-year head coach Derek Fisher. And the struggles continue. On both sides of the ball, however, No. 4 overall pick Kristaps Porzingis has shown early signs of brilliance at a mere 20 years old. Plus, there are other promising developments, such as the continued improvement of Lance Thomas. To discuss these complex Knicks, Seth Rosenthal, SB Nation editor as well as the editor for SBN’s Knicks site Posting and Toasting, stopped by. Seth didn’t sugarcoat things, providing the good, the bad and the ugly. The highlights can be found below:

1:48 – 1:53 on the Knicks’ season:

“The worst thing that happened to them is that they started the year that strong, ’cause now they look so terrible in comparison.”

3:47 – 4:24 on Kristaps Porzingis:

“A lot of people assumed he would be a big, weak shooting big man kind of stiff, not a great defender…he’s been a very versatile scorer. If anything, his outside catch-and-shoot game is the weakest part of his scoring repertoire. He’s been a really solid defender…if he continues to grow…if he stays healthy, he’s going to have an extremely well-rounded game.”

6:23 – 7:14 on the precipitous decline of the Knicks after a promising start:

“On the court, it was palpable that the team wasn’t quite responding to (Fisher) the way they were before…The offense you have to play as a team, running the triangle, depends more so than other teams’ schemes do on brute effort. If the Knicks aren’t cutting…dribbling over screens, using their screens, and attacking the glass, that hampers them more than teams that are more open in their structure and more athletically gifted…Guys were starting to flag a little bit…Increasingly, within the team, (this) became attributed to Fisher.” Continue reading