Why Kristaps Porzingis will be an All-Star this season


With two seasons already under his belt, Kristaps has been nothing short of spectacular. Heading into next season, Porzingis will come off of a year where he averaged 18.1 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 2.0 BPG. Those numbers are a significant increase from his rookie season. Specifically, he increased his PPG average from 14.3. Not bad for a guy who has been playing the first two seasons of his career with one of the most discombobulated teams in the league.

Considering he has been in and out of coaching styles for the past two seasons, with Porzingis having played under three coaches so far, he has definitely been the one bright spot for the Knicks. Now with a more focused offense, Porzingis will surely be able to thrive more than he already has. Specifically, with Phil gone, KP won't have to try and learn an offense which may be outdated in today's model of play and one that was condemned by many players of the team last season. Now he won't need to try to implement his skills for two completely different offensive sets.

Then there is also the possibility of Melo's departure. If Melo does end up getting traded in the future, the responsibility of leading the team will surely fall on Porzinigs. Although stats shouldn't be the only point when discussing a player's all-star worthiness, notable names such as Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins, have been known to consistently make the team despite not having team success. Porzingis' stats will surely see an increase if Melo departs. The young fella was already putting up good numbers last season. Ultimately, whether Melo is there or not, his stats should see a nice increase as his development progresses. Of course, this all depends on how Kristaps handles the situation, but if his talent is any indication, he should be just fine.

There is no denying how great Porzingis has been and will be, but realistically the thing that is most in his favor is the power shift in the NBA. With Jimmy Butler, Paul Millsap and Paul George all heading out west, that opens up three additional slots that Porzingis can take. The lack of return on superstars in the East also doesn't show that those three slots are at risk of being taken by somebody else except one. Assuming the Celtics' prized off-season acquisition, Gordon Hayward takes one of those spots, that still leaves two openings. Then there's also the possibility of Kyrie Irving and Melo heading out West as both have been linked to teams in the West. That would only open up more opportunities for KP to make it.

The only other player that really poses a threat to take one of those spots is Joel Embiid. Of course that all depends on his health. Considering he has only played thirty-one games in three seasons, there is a good chance that he could miss the game. Had Embiid played more games last season, he surely would have been voted in by the coaches as he narrowly missed the cut last season. Perhaps one of Embiid's running mates could impress enough to warrant a spot. However, it is probably unlikely that they would take a spot over KP, considering KP is more developed at this stage in his career. Then there are the more traditional bigs such as Hassan Whiteside and Andre Drummond who could take a spot. While they definitely have all-star talent, a lot of players get voted in based on popularity and it's safe to assume that Porzingis is more popular with fans.

This brings us to our last point. There have been many players who have been voted in due to popularity as opposed to talent. Take Zaza Pachulia for instance. Not to knock on the guy, but there is no way he is more talented than Kawhi Leonard or Anthony Davis, but yet he received more fan votes than both of them. Not only did he get more votes than them, but he ranked second in frontcourt votes behind Kevin Durant. This was obviously because he had his hometown Georgia behind him. Thankfully, the NBA's new voting system stopped it from happening.

The fans also want to watch the players who will put on the best show for them. After two seasons in the league, it's safe to say that Porzinigs is among the most fun players to watch and is popular with the fans. From his put back dunks to his dream shakes, KP has it all. Ultimately, KP is deserving of a spot based on his talent alone, but combine all these aspects together and he's an All-Star in the making.

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