We can talk about the one-handed offensive rebound tomahawk jam, and we will.
We can talk about the blocked shot that led to a monster throwdown dunk – all in five seconds, and we will.
But here are the three most important things you need to know about the scintillating 37-point, seven-rebound, three-blocked shot masterpiece that Kristaps Porzingis turned in Friday night in the Knicks, 120-107 wreckage of the Phoenix Suns in the Garden.
1. He did it with a stomach bug. Yep, KP wasn’t 100-percent yet he played liked he was 1,000-percent. That’s what superstars do.
2. He didn’t merely impress his own teammates, he wowed the opposition.
“Porzingis is special,” former Knick Tyson Chandler said. “He has a chance to be the best player in this league. Watching him tonight and seeing what he’s done so far this season, he has a real shot of being the best player in this league.”
3. He made The Garden sound like the World’s Most Famous Arena for the first time in a long time. In fact, when KP and the Knicks play as they did last night, they’re the most exciting pro team in the city right now.
With 4:53 left in the game, KP swatted a shot by rookie Josh Jackson. Five seconds later, KP took a gorgeous alley-oop pass from Jarrett Jack and threw down the dunk of the season for the Knicks, while getting fouled.
The Garden sounded like a Springsteen concert when he breaks into Thunder Road.
“I loved that play,” Porzingis said. “Honestly, just the energy that was in the Garden at that moment, it was unbelievable. I had to calm myself down to knock down the free throw.”
For Porzingis, it was his sixth 30-point performance in eight games. With 9:44 left in the third he grabbed a one-handed rebound off a missed Tim Hardaway Jr. jumper and pulverized the rim with his Connie Hawkins-like throw down.
This set an unofficial record – just eight games into the season and Knicks’ fans had broken out their ‘MVP!’ chant.
After an 0-3 start, the Knicks are 4-4 going into Sunday night’s home game (7:30; MSGNetwork) against the Pacers (5-4). After an 0-3 start, The Garden once again is the place to be and the Knicks look like a team you want to watch.
The Knicks are playing a brand of basketball that pulls at the heartstrings of New Yorkers – they’re working hard on defense, moving the ball on offense, have impressive depth and, oh yes, have a player capable of igniting the crowd at any given moment.
“I’m getting better as a player,’’ Porzingis said. “I can read more things, the game slows down for me and I’m learning to draw more fouls. It’s important to get to the line. I’m growing as a player.’’