Kristaps Porzingis has led the New York Knicks to a 6-4 record over their last 10 games. The second-year forward ranks second only to nine-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony on the team with 21.4 points per game. And as Porzingis continues to flourish on the offensive end, there's already talk about whose team this is.
Does it even matter? After a slow start to the season, New York looks competitive. As the Knicks hit their stride, Anthony and Porzingis are standing tall as a very formidable 1-2 punch. They're clearly stronger together, playing off one another and keeping opposing defenses on their toes. Porzingis seems to understand that.
"Since I've been here [Anthony has] been that guy for me and he still is the guy that draws the most attention from the defense," Porzingis said in a recent interview with SLAM. "That gives me more space and more options to be open.
"We're still figuring it out, we're not even close to what we can do and how much potential we have. We're working towards that and once we click 100 percent, we can do big things."
It's well known that Anthony is an experienced and gifted offensive player who can create opportunities for himself. He can put the ball on the floor and go toe to toe with a defender, creating the higher-percentage looks he needs to be successful. The same can't be said about Porzingis, especially at this early point in his career. As such, the acquisitions of Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings, two point guards who can create through ball distribution and penetration, have gone a long way toward elevating Porzingis' game. The Knicks had a goal to get more out of him by having the right players set the table. That's been very effective so far.
"I think the point guards are looking for me. They want me to attack, they want me to create for others and the ball is getting to me," he said. "It doesn't mean every time I have to attack, I can drive, kick out and keep playing and good things come out of that.
"Derrick's so aggressive and he creates for others and that's what we love about him. The defense collapses and he's able to kick the ball out and get me good looks."
As two of the top players from their respective draft class, Anthony and LeBron James will forever be linked. Matchups between them are always played up and it's clear they bring the most out of one another. It's still early, but Porzingis is already beginning to experience more of the same with Karl-Anthony Towns, who he will match up against again on Friday.
"That's a dream for me to have a long, successful career in the NBA and it's the same for him," Porzingis said. "Hopefully we have many more chances to play against one another and have a long rivalry."
With Porzingis already part of such a conversation, there's no doubt the Knicks have a budding superstar on their hands. While he has potential to become a special player, Porzingis' offensive development wouldn't be where it is without those around him.