Kristaps Porzingis keeps showing why he’s the perfect partner for Luka Doncic

first_imgKP goes for 34 PTS, 12 REB, 5 BLK ‼️@kporzee is the 1st player since @SHAQ (in 2000) to post 30+ PTS, 5+ BLK in two consecutive games played!— NBA (@NBA) March 5, 2020The gravity he draws from the defense frees up Luka to do Luka things, such as nail the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:09 left in overtime. And when the defense keys on Doncic, he makes the right play and lobs it up to Porzingis for the easy dunk.Luka and KP going off!Combined for over 60 points tonight 🔥— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 5, 2020With opponents unable to help off of Porzingis, Doncic gets the space do things like take two-time All-Defensive selection Jrue Holliday to the dance floor with a series of sick crossovers (hats off to Zion Williamson for the freakish leaping ability to force Doncic into a kick-out).Luka Doncic took Jrue Holiday to prom— NBA RETWEET (@RTNBA) March 5, 2020Doncic and Porzingis are the epitome of a modern basketball partnership: a smooth facilitator paired with a crafty big man, both with the ability to knock down shots from outside. And they might be basketball’s most exciting duo when they’re both clicking like they were on Wednesday. Don’t look now, but Kristaps Porzingis has his swagger back.Experts weren’t sure what to expect from the 7-3 unicorn from Latvia this season after he missed the entire 2018-19 season because of an ACL tear. Porzingis averaged 22.7 points per game during the 2017-18 season with the Knicks before suffering the injury. The Mavs took a risk by trading for him, but after nights like Wednesday’s 127-123 overtime victory over the Pelicans in which Porzingis had 34 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, it’s clear that the gamble has paid off. MORE: One preposterous pass illustrates Doncic’s basketball brilliancePorzingis is averaging 19.2 points per game this season, but Wednesday’s outing was his fifth with 30-plus points and 10-plus rebounds since Jan. 31. He had three such outings in his career before that.Even with those numbers, he’s second fiddle for Dallas, playing Robin to Luka Doncic’s Batman. Doncic also dazzled in the win over New Orleans with 30 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists —​ his franchise-record 22nd triple-double. Doncic, playing in his 122nd game for the Mavericks, surpassed Hall of Famer Jason Kidd’s mark of 21, which was set in 500 games.Porzingis’ skill set perfectly complements Doncic’s game. His long frame makes him a constant lob threat in pick-and-roll situations and his 3-point stroke limits defenders’ ability to help in pick-and-pop spots.last_img read more

Time for Blues to learn their lesson

first_imgWhen New South Wales thundered to victory in record fashion at Suncorp Stadium in Game One talk of a Blues dynasty began emanating south of the border only for Maroons coach Kevin Walters to usher in his own next generation of Queenslanders and wrest away a series in which they had been dominated for the first 140 minutes.With Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater overseeing the introduction of eight rookies in 2017 Queensland’s blip is in danger of being only one game as the Blues struggle find the formula for sustained success.Led admirably by Boyd Cordner there is a core group of NSW players that Daley says will turn the tide but in order to do so must first come to terms with what it takes to be successful in the Origin arena.”We could have wrapped up the series in Game Two but it’s a learning process,” said Daley, who refused to discuss his future as NSW coach in the wake of the 22-6 loss in Game Three on Wednesday night.”It’s a hard lesson because in Origin you only get three cracks at it and it doesn’t matter what you do you’ve got to win two games.”We’ve shown glimpses of what we’re capable of but we’ve just got to do it more consistently. And when they do – when we do – we’ll have one hell of a footy side but at the moment we’re just not doing it consistently enough for a long period of time.”They’ll eventually get there. Obviously we thought it was going to be this year but this group of players that have come through, they’re the right people, and you’ve got some other guys that are on the verge as well.”NSW, while they should be disappointed, should be quite excited about what can happen.” ‌In a series that ultimately brought the same disappointment of 10 of the previous 11 years Jake Trbojevic was one of the few Blues highlights in his first Origin appearance.The Manly back-rower was one of his side’s best in each of the three matches and in what has to be a positive sign for Blues fans is already thinking about having another crack at Queensland in 11 months’ time.”It hurts a lot. We were in a position to win the series and we let it slip,” Trbojevic said of the 16-6 lead they gave up in Game Two.”It only makes you hungrier. It’s going to hurt for a bit and hopefully next year comes around quick.”It’s a long time between series obviously. After the second game at least it was only three weeks away to try and fix it up so it’s going to hurt for a while.”That second game we were probably the better team for most of the game and to come away with a loss was pretty frustrating. At this level you’ve got to play for the full 80 and they did that.”They were on top from the first minute. It’s really disappointing. It will hurt for a while. Just want to get back here next year.”The Blues threatened to drag themselves up off the canvas when Josh Dugan scored eight minutes into the second half but after a brief flurry a penalty conceded by Wade Graham swung the momentum back the way of the Maroons and it never came back.Still struggling to come to terms with the result, Graham said the only option for the NSW team is to use the pain of another series defeat and come back better next year.”That’s how you learn, you get beat. You get burnt,” said Graham.”The margin of error is so small and you’ve just got to learn. Every time you learn, you’re always constantly evolving, always trying to be better because as soon as you go backwards there will be someone else coming in and being better.”We’ve got to stick solid as a group and as a state. The margin of error is only so small so it’s not as if it’s a massive area we need to improve but we need to look at all three games and where we weren’t quite at our best and where that margin of error was.”The group [were together] through all three games and not just that group but the guys that were in camp like Jack de Belin, Jordan McLean, Tommy Trbojevic, Dale Finucane. There’s a core group there of 21-22 players that are good enough to get the job done.”last_img read more