Kristaps Porzingis’ highlight factory has slowed in recent weeks as the rest of the NBA quickly realized he was a force to be reckoned with, but he’s still capable of moments that swell the hearts of Knicks fans with hope. KP didn’t see as much action as normal in the Knicks’ 108-96 win over the Detroit Pistons, thanks to Kyle O’Quinn’s best game in blue and orange, but he had time to raise the ghost of Hakeem Olajuwon (who is actually still alive and well, thank goodness).
This serves as a reminder that Porzingis’ hype isn’t tied solely to his insane shot-blocking length, or his shooting range, or even his post moves — it’s all of it, wrapped together in one pterodactyl-shaped package. This isn’t the first time Porzingis has showed off a dream shake, either; he had a Hakeem impression so spot-on a month ago that the NBA put together this side-by-side:
Let’s also get this out of the way: Porzingis is not Hakeem, and Hakeem wasn’t just one move. What made Hakeem possibly the greatest post scorer ever was the endless array of fakes, jukes and dekes he could deploy. Porzingis doesn’t have that arsenal, and it’s unlikely he ever will. But the fact that he can use finesse to score down low complements his ability to spot up from the outside beautifully. He’s slowed down statistically, but his future remains as bright as the sun. Let the smooth move loop on and imagine it arriving: