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Choose Your Own Adventure: You and Hubie Brown take Kristaps Porzingis through his rookie season

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For the second year in a row we'll channel Hubie Brown and do a choose-your-own-adventure story to guide ourselves through the ups and downs of a player's season. Last year we played it marginally safe with Amar'e Stoudemire, but ultimately pushed him past his limit and he was injured down the stretch. This year we'll take a look at the Flamingo, aka Kristaps Porzingis.

Thanks for inviting me back to talk with you, Ok? It's a pleasure to be wanted! It's the first time I was ever invited back to New York a-ha-ha-ha! But it's a pleasure. New York is a home to a special place in my heart. Ok, and it's great to be here. Alright let's get right down to business. We're looking at the young man the Knicks drafted with the fourth overall selection in the NBA Draft. And of course we're talking about Kristaps Porzingis.

He's 7'3" in the body with long arms and is a threat for the blocked shot if he's even near the area, ok? He's quick, he uses the length and they like the fact, of course, that he can hit the outside shot. You also love the long stride, alright, because he has a nice game on the move. But you wonder, ok? Without the physical strength in the upper body. You hope ya still see a soft touch through the contact. He's a rookie, ok, so guys are gonna try to manhandle him and you wanna see how he deals with the pressure. And we're in New York here, so come on, if he gets mugged on the low block...what ya hope is that the young man can just regroup and gather himself and keep progressing. Because he's a good young person with excellent work habits and he wants to be a special player in this league.

What we know for sure is that the young man can set his feet and let it go, 'cuz ya know he'll be able to hit it out there eventually. Anytime that he gets it near that top of the circle, you have to close out to the chest and hope that your rotations are on time or you're gonna get beat. Now, if you're the Knicks, what you need is to limit the amount of time that you see him try to do anything too unorthodox. But depending on the type of action he is seeing on the floor, you'll live with that type of mistake, ok, from time to time.

Now keep an eye on can he finish in traffic. We know he will use the left hand when he needs it and he has the length to shoot it up over the top. And anytime we find the opposite team going at him on the defense -- you're gonna see right there whether he's gotta use the hand check, or the grab, to stop his man from getting excellent position on the post up 1-on-1. Or is he moving his feet? Does he front the offensive man and deny the catch? And is he directing traffic or getting beat and not recognizing the man behind him.

The keys for Porzingis is pounding the glass, ok? And now getting back quickly on the defensive end and holding it together against the talented bigs that are in this league. And also against a switch onto a smaller player. Which, as we know, is everybody for this kid, alright! Because he's as tall as they make 'em, ok? Come on! What ya need is for Porzingis to work for it and bam! Still get back the other way when its time to go. And communicate with everyone around him. And he's gotta learn from your other bigs and the coaching staff.

Now, as a team. What ya gotta see, alright, is whether the defenders in the blue and orange are helping one another compete down in the area and making things happen. Or! Are they out of position, not rotating and getting back. And of course a big concern is gonna be the foul trouble. It's a steep learning curve for all the rookie year players. And ya don't wanna see his minutes curtailed because he isn't moving his feet. Ok, and he's getting tagged with the ticky-tack foul. Because look, this is the professional game, ok, and ya have to adjust.

Now! The next key, is can he be a great passer, within Derek Fisher's Triangle offense. What ya want is eventually he is hitting the jump shot with a high percentage and spacing the floor enough so you don't have to wear out Carmelo Anthony in the isolation. And ya like to see that, ok -- anytime that the ball goes into the pivot, and New York is in their Triangle and the guy in the corner will cut along the backdoor -- is the young man making the smart play? Does he find the cutter from the baseline, mid-post area and the elbow? Can he punish the defense -- whether is it a situation where they sag off and ya bank it home. Or in a double team, can he pinpoint the open man.

There's plenty of season here so you need to make sure you make your decision smartly because there's a lot of guys you need to keep happy. You gotta be careful here now, 'cuz you don't wanna start stumbling out of the stumbling blocks. Not as a team! Alright. And not for the individual.  Thats why we tell ya at the top, ok? That he's very young. There is a ton of po-tential, but you're not sure what to expect from the young man. So your thought here is whether you need to add sugar or salt to the recipe, ok? So come on, do ya need to make it a little salty? Alright and ya can't have it be too sweet! OR! Are you gonna have just the right touch of salty to sweet? If you don't make the best decision for your ball club right away it could be very costly.