Two Knicks played, and two Knicks excelled.
Willy Hernangómez and Kristaps Porzingis had both played subpar basketball for a game or two. Their recent stat lines were absolutely affected by them constantly getting into early foul trouble.
On Thursday, however, Kristaps was back to being a unicorn and Willy was back to being the center of the future. All is well. My teacher even hooked me up with the class syllabus after I had missed the first class. Today was awesome.
Spain 87, Hungary 64:
In his last few games, Willy Hernangómez has been overshadowed by his lil’ brother, and has straight up played badly. Today, he bounced back in a big way, dropping 15 points, collecting 5 boards, dishing an assist, as well as one block in 20 minutes of game time.
He looked fearless in the offensive front court but also rebounded with a great deal of confidence on both ends. Most encouraging, however, was his steal and assist, which comes all in the same play at the 0:32 mark of this video:
That was gorgeous. More.
Despite Willy’s performance, NBA history was made in this game. Future HOFer Paul Gasol dropped 20 points, passing Tony Parker for highest scoring player in EuroBasket history at 1111 points. Congrats, Pau!
Latvia 89, Turkey 79:
Kristaps dropped 28 points on an absolutely ridiculous 9-15 from the field which included 3/6 from deeeeep. He also added 7 boards, 2 steals and 3 blocks to his line.
Most importantly, here’s a video of KP affecting a defence so much that his mere presence created wide open layups and jumpers for his Latvian teammates:
Last one for the night. A compilation of Latvia wrecking havoc in the first half by finding many conclusions to cross-screen plays. pic.twitter.com/5QJkH0Bcev— Reinis Lācis (@LamarMatic) September 7, 2017
But then you have this, which is basically basketball porn:
Y’know what, just watch all of KP’s stuff. He was outstanding in this game:
Papa Seth pointed it out, and he’s absolutely right: Latvia is incredibly fun to watch and we should all be happy that they’re moving on for more reasons than just to watch Kristaps be amazing (though that is the main reason, obviously).
(It’s not just Kristaps. Latvia is so much fun.) https://t.co/ex5El1GJ1N— Seth Rosenthal (@seth_rosenthal) September 7, 2017
Latvia gets Montenegro in the round of 16 on Sunday at 5:30 AM ET. If you wanna watch KP that badly, don’t even go to sleep Saturday night. C’mon, let the devil tempt you.
Willy and Spain will face Turkey 11:45 AM ET, which is probably a far more reasonable game to watch.
They should both win their games and move on to the quarterfinals, which would be lots of fun to watch.
France plays Germany at 8:15 AM ET and Lithuania plays Greece at 2:30 AM ET on Saturday in round of 16 action. Let’s kill the playoffs, guys!
More recaps of EuroBasket to come.