The Minnesota Timberwolves have a stable of fine young athletes, dudes with the speed, strength and agility to throw down on just about anyone.
Not that Kristaps Porzingis cares. The leviathan from Latvia racked up a whopping seven blocks against the T-Wolves, with six of them coming against the last two No. 1 overall picks, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Now, we'd be here all day if I tried to break down every block, so I only chose what I consider to be Kristaps's three best rejections of the night. These three fine instances of swatification each demonstrate a quality that is
sure to eventually land Three 6 Latvia a place among the NBA's best shot-blockers.
(My bad ... I forgot to check the current NBA blocks leaderboard before I wrote that. As of now Kristaps ranks 5th in total blocks, 7th in blocks per game and 5th in blocks per 48 minutes. Kid is already among the league's best shot blockers).
Let's count 'em down, shall we?
Honorable Mention: Kristaps's 3rd block of Andrew Wiggins
Kristaps rejected Wiggins a whopping four times on Wednesday. This block was good, but not quite as awe-inspiring as some of his other work.
No. 3: Kristaps's 2nd block of Andrew Wiggins
I bet you players all around the league dream of getting an opportunity to get the ball out on the break and stuff one on the 7'3" Latvian beanpole. Unfortunately for them, the beanpole usually stuffs back.
Wiggins takes off from an ambitious distance in preparation for a powerful two-handed flush .. and Porzingis just envelops him. He takes a perfect angle, jumps straight up, resists the urge to swipe at the ball, and lets his length do the work for him.
No. 2: Kristaps' 1st block of Karl-Anthony Towns
The best shot blockers are snake-like in their ability to strike quicker than the human eye can see, even from a coiled position. Get a load of this speed:
We need to slow that down for a better look.
Towns -- who is quite tall, by the way -- is already in the air with the ball above his head before Kristaps even reacts. No matter. The Baltic cobra closes the distance in a heartbeat. Ya got bit, Towns. Ya got bit.
No. 1: Kristaps's 4th block of Andrew Wiggins
How the hell does he do this?
Wiggins's Eurostep is one of the most potent weapons in the league right now. He brushes off Arron Afflalo with the help of a pick and then unleashes the move on a backpedaling Kristaps. Zingis Khan follows him step for step, switches hands at the last possible instant, blocks the shot, and taps the rebound into Lance Thomas while falling out of bounds.
I can't even blame Lance for letting the ball slip out of bounds. How the hell are you supposed to expect something like that to happen?
Kristaps Porzingis is no man; he is a remorseless shot-blocking machine.