Do you guys understand what’s about to happen here? Can any of you grasp what you’re about to witness this season? Is this registering with anyone?
The leap that this kid is about to make. I mean… good fucking lord.
Look, there was never any scenario where Kristaps wasn’t going to make a significant second year jump. First you consider the typical adjustments of any second year player. The understanding of the rigors of the schedule, preparedness for the physicality of the game, familiarity with your teammates, adjustments to your scheme/style of play, etc, etc.
Then you acknowledge the significant upgrade in coach, style of play, personnel that the Knicks have undergone. Because even the staunchest critics of the Knicks and their offseason moves can’t deny that there’s more talent and a much smarter system in place.
And finally, you account for the leap that players with a certain “Once-In-A-Generation It Factor” make in year two. You know… the type of “Once-In-A-Generation It Factor” that we all know Kristaps has.
Add all that up and there was no way we weren’t seeing a huge jump from KP this year. And that’s all without mentioning that it’s his second time going through the “Second Year Pro Experience”… or all of the hype surrounding Karl Anthony-Towns, the guy he’ll be measured against his whole career… or that he’s Christ reborn in the form of a 7’3” basketball unicorn. Kristaps was always going to make the jump. Anyone who didn’t see that is fucking blind.
But now that we have our first look at him in real-time, actual in-game action… I mean… Holy fucking shit. I have to recalibrate all my expectations and raised them higher.
One look at him on that court last night and the differences from last year are clearly evident.
He was significantly more fluid, to the point that I legitimately forgot he was 7’3″ at times. That crossover? I’m honestly sitting here sweating just thinking about it. He looks stronger in his upper body, which is pretty cool when you consider that his main focus was strengthening his lower body this offseason. He was catching and shooting abnormally fast for a big man. Like, Klay Thompson quick. Oh and he made 5 of 6 of those threes, nbd.
But more than anything, he looked like a guy who knows he’s the best player on the court. Not thinks he’s the best… Kristaps knows he’s the best. He had an air of comfortability out there that you can’t fake. You just have that or you don’t. And to have that as a player at that size is even more rare. Every guard thinks they’re the best player out there, few big men think that. Even fewer know that they’re the best. Kristaps knows he’s the best. And you can’t possibly understate the importance of that.
I just… I’m gonna need a moment here guys…
(FULL KNICKS AND NBA PREVIEWS COMING NEXT WEEK. THREE WEEKS TIL TIP BABY LET’S GOOOOOOOO)
P.S. I watched most of that Warriors-Clippers first half and yeah okay I’m a little tiny bit scared of how the Warriors looked. We’ll talk more about this next week but yeah… this was scary.