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Kristaps Porzingis is so close to being a deadly slasher

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

This is going to be nitpicking. Kristaps Porzingis has been fine and played very nicely Sunday afternoon against the Hawks -- his defense was wonderful, his shots fell, and he utilized a variety of quality touches in the pick-and-roll.

Good game! It could have been even better -- and Kristaps in general could be more efficient -- with only a slight change in approach. It's a matter of mentality: confidence, priorities, that kinda stuff.

First, look at Kristaps's aggression last night when he was assisted on the move:

He goes up STRONG and determined to spike on somebody. The first time, he just mishandles the dunk. The second time, he got blocked (and fouled, in my opinion). But those were close calls, and in my mind the right plays.

Now look at how Kristaps tried to finish when he attacked off the dribble:

A little more finesse-y.

It's funny, because he's got the hard part down. The man is 19 feet tall and is already adept enough to lose a defender with a pump fake and find the paint with his dribble. Those are gorgeous drives, and look where they put his lift-off:



The shots he did attempt aren't bad -- an acrobatic lefty layup that rimmed out, and a righty hook that bricked pretty badly -- but in the future, I'd love to see him go up strong with those. Like, as strong as those assisted attacks above. He totally can. It's just a matter of knowing when to noodle around for a fancy finish and when to follow a straight line and accept the contact. I believe Kristaps will figure that out. We'll see more than 3 free throws a night, we'll see more big dunks, and Kristaps will become a legitimate threat to attack off the dribble, which is pretty nuts.