The NBA announced on Monday that New York’s Kristaps Porzingis won the title for last week’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week award (October 30–November 5). Houston’s James Harden won the Western Conference honors.
Porzingis led the Knicks to a 3-1 record, the only loss against Harden and the Rockets, while averaging 33.5 points on 54.4 percent shooting, 46.7 percent from three-point range, and 3.3 blocks per game. Kristaps’ charge on offense–while blocking every opponents’ shot in sight on defense–helped the Knicks defend home-court advantage with surprisingly good play and raised the Knicks to a 5-4 record overall.
Interesting enough, both KP and Harden reached their career highs in scoring totals on Sunday night, Harden scoring 56 points in a win against the Utah Jazz and Porzingis pouring in 40 in last night’s comeback victory over Indiana.
KP’s first Player of the Week honors may be the first acknowledgement in the league of his leap in his third season. Porzingis is the focal point for New York’s offense, confounding opposing defenses with his you-can’t-teach-that height, shooting over smaller defenders with ease, and cutting to the paint for layups and powerful dunks. Porzingis is angling towards his best season by far; he’s currently second in the league in scoring, less than one point behind Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. An All-Star team berth or All-NBA honor could be where KP is headed if he keeps up this burgeoning pace of enthusiasm that has filled the Garden as of late.
Congrats, KP on the first of hopefully many accolades!