Kristaps Porzingis will likely play power forward more often than center thie season, head coach Jeff Hornacek explained on Thursday.
"With the roster we have, we have a lot of bigs at that position at the five, so it's natural for him to play the four. If we want, at times, maybe (playing Porzingis at center is) a weapon we can go to against some teams," Hornacek said, according to Ian Begley of ESPN. "It's probably different if we had only other center then maybe he gets more minutes there. If you look at our roster he's not going to get a ton of time there but it's an option we can go to."
The Knicks acquired Enes Kanter in the deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City, and also have bigs Willy Hernangomez, and Joakim Noah (who will miss the first 12 games of the season due to a PED suspension) on the roster.
In addition to the presence of more centers on the roster, Hornacek said Porzingis not having to deal with other teams' bigs is a plus.
"I think we gotta find a balance of size and age and strength and him getting banged by the big guys all the time," Hornacek said. "Yes, it does bring him closer to the basket for blocked shots but we feel he can still do that from the weakside and come over and help,"
The 22-year-old Porzingis averaged 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds in 66 games last season.
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While Porzingis is the tallest player on the Knicks, he should not be playing center. He has a unique game that doesn't make him a center -- he's a power forward and always will be. It's the same with Dirk Nowitzki.
Because of his ability to shoot from downtown, playing him at center would make zero sense. The Knicks already have three centers when Noah returns after 12 games.
The Knicks will be just fine playing Kanter, Hernangomez, and Noah at center, and they need Porzingis at the four. The only guy that is a true four behind him is Kyle O'Quinn. And with Porzingis at center, the Knicks would not have much depth at all at power forward.
This is really a no brainer for Hornacek. Honestly, this is the easiest roster decision he will be making. Everything else after this is the question.