One more day, baby! Woooooooooooooooo! New York Knicks basketball is almost here; the team is getting set to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. Carmelo Anthony will be there, but no longer playing for the orange and blue. With OKC Melo firmly ensconced at the power forward spot, which means we could be set to enjoy a healthy portion of the delectable matchup of Melo vs. his old protege, Kristaps Porzingis.
For what it’s worth, Kristaps is ready for the challenge. Per Ian Begley:
"I watched him every day for two years. I know what he does, how he can score," Porzingis said. "If there was an answer to what he's doing and how to defend that, that would be nice. But there's no film I can watch and say, 'Now I know how to guard this.' So I'm going to try to use my length as much as I can."
Speaking of Porzingis playing the 4—where he figures to be spending the vast, vast majority of the season, given the sheer volume of centers on this roster—Jared Dubin argues that, for once, the Knicks aren’t making a mistake by forcing the center position on Porzingis at the moment.
It's understandable, given the Knicks' history of screwing these kinds of things up, to want to freak your geek out whenever they're not doing something exactly the way they should be. For the first time in a while, the team seems to understand that the immediate results aren't all that matter. The evolution of Porzingis is what matters. And the Knicks seem to have an implicit understanding that the evolving NBA will push him to center anyway. There is no need to rush that process.
Hey, as long as Kristaps gets there eventually.
Finally, we turn to more spiritual matters. The Undefeated held an interesting roundtable discussion with various Muslim players, past and present, about their treatment in the NBA. Enes Kanter is very appreciative of the steps taken by the Knicks organization to allow him to practice his Muslim faith.
“I have to pray five times a day, so the Knicks gave me a special room at the practice facility and at Madison Square Garden,” Kanter said. “We have to eat halal food, so they ordered me special food. It means a lot. This is not a Muslim country. But when you see a team do a respectful thing like that, it shows me how respectful people are in America.”
This, of course, gives me a chance to post my favorite post-game interview of all time.