No. 1 consolation: Porzingis shows he’s a estimable inheritor to Melo

2:40 AM ET

OKLAHOMA CITY — If Thursday’s season-opening detriment is an denote of things to come, it’s going to be a prolonged deteriorate for a New York Knicks. New York had too many turnovers (25) and defensive lapses in a 105-84 detriment to Carmelo Anthony and a Oklahoma City Thunder. They were outscored 35-8 in fast-break points and their indicate guards (Ramon Sessions, Ron Baker) total for 9 points and 7 turnovers in 43 minutes.

One of a few splendid spots for New York? The play of Kristaps Porzingis.

Porzingis had 31 points and 12 rebounds in his initial diversion of a post-Melo era, giving plenty justification that he can hoop life as a face of this franchise.

“I was happy for him, only to see that he’s prepared to take on that role,” pronounced Anthony, who was matched adult opposite Porzingis for a poignant apportionment of a game. “He looked assertive tonight, looked comfortable, felt comfortable. So we was happy to see that.”

Anthony got a closure he was looking for as his Thunder dominated a Knicks for many of a game. But Porzingis got a best of his particular matchup with Anthony early on. He had 8 points on 3-of-5 sharpened in a initial entertain while Anthony missed 5 of his initial 6 shots. Porzingis also blocked one of Anthony’s initial attempts during a rim.

Things evened out a bit over a march of a diversion yet Porzingis’ appetite and prolongation never waned, something that stood out to Knicks manager Jeff Hornacek. “Maybe final year that would be a onslaught since he’d get sleepy and maybe get some stupid fouls,” Hornacek said. “But even during a 37th, 38th notation he was slicing tough and relocating and restraint shots and removing rebounds.”

Perhaps a many poignant series for Porzingis was his 9 free-throw attempts. That’s scarcely triple his per-game normal final season, yet he also took 10 some-more attempts than his 2016-17 average.

“I’ll try to stay assertive and stay in a paint. That’s going to move me easy points,” he said. Of course, all won’t be so easy for Porzingis this season. Management and Hornacek have been clever to contend that they wish to palliate a 22-year-old Porzingis into a purpose of heading man.

Porzingis, impressively self-aware for a actor his age, knows that there will be prolonged nights brazen as a Knicks’ No. 1 choice on offense. But he’s adult for a challenge. “I never doubt myself. we never feel like I’m not prepared for something even if it’s a many formidable plea in my life,” he pronounced progressing Thursday. “I always try to consider about a things I’m able of doing and concentration on those things and concentration on a thing we can affect. I’m never too fearful of a situation. I’m here now, we had a good knowledge examination Melo, how he does things on and off a court. we consider that’s what I’m going to use to go forward.”

Porzingis talks mostly about how he schooled how to hoop a spotlight while examination Anthony. Things will be opposite now that Porzingis is on his own, something Anthony addressed in a discuss with reporters on Wednesday.

“Even final year and a year before, he had pieces, a integrate pieces around that can kind of preserve him a small bit,” he said. “Even when things weren’t going good for him, we would always take a censure and take a vigour off of him … [Now] he has to welcome that role. He has to be prepared for what’s in front of him.”

On opening night, in an differently nauseous detriment for New York, Porzingis showed that he’s indeed prepared for that role. It’s a rest of a group that fans should be disturbed about.

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