The EuroBasket group stage has finished, and we have separated the EuroWheat from the EuroChaff. All three current Knicks—Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Willy Hernangomez and Kristaps Porzingis—made it through to the round of 16.
But before we look forward to the knockout rounds, let us take a moment to acknowledge all of the basketball goodness we got out of our Knicks in the opening stage of the tournament.
Kristaps Porzingis (5 games): 22.4 points, 51.4 FG%/40.9 3P%/90 FT%, 6.0 free throws, 5.6 rebounds, 2.0 blocks
Kristaps ranks fourth in the tournament in points, trailing Dennis Schroder, my hero Alexey Shved and THE NEW AND IMPROVED KRISTAPS, Lauri Markkanen. He has played a great deal of center for Latvia, and has occasionally gotten tossed around by the likes of Timofey Mozgov and Boban Marjanovic, two of the biggest dudes in the NBA. Obviously the rebounding numbers aren’t what you’d like to see.
But those are some fairly weak criticisms—overall, Kristaps has been a scoring machine for a surprisingly potent Latvian offense. The Unicorn is showing what he is capable of when he’s put in the right offensive system.
Willy Hernangomez (5 games): 10.6 points, 51.3 FG%/0.0 3P%/76.5 FT%, 3.4 free throws, 8.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists
Willy has had a couple of off nights coming off the bench, but he has been an absolute machine on the boards, ranking 5th overall in rebounds per game and leading the tournament in rebounds per 40 minutes.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas (5 games): 14.4 points, 47.5 FG%/37.0 3P%/54.5 FT%, 2.2 free throws. 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists
Sometimes Kuz starts and sometimes he comes of the bench for Lithuania. No matter when he enters the game, however, you can be damn sure buckets will be gotten.
Finally, I’d like to give a shout-out to #OAKAAK Thanasis Antetkounmpo. The greatest player in Westchester Knicks history has played really well off the bench for Greece.
Good for you, buddy. Unfortunately, he will now be going up against Big Cheesy Kuz and Lithuania. Latvia and Spain will tip off on Sunday. Enjoy the weekend.