Twenty-year-old Kristaps Porzingis going toe-to-toe with 37-year-old Dirk Nowitzki. A rare spectacle seen during last night’s Knicks-Mavericks game. Under the layers, the best European import of NBA was challenged by his junior version.
Porzingis came out with flying colors, having notched up 28 points in 18 shots. But his final three-point attempt failed, and he couldn’t pull it off despite posting a stellar show in the final quarter.
Because Dirk Nowitzki was there in the opponent’s line-up. Nowitzki scored 25 points in 18 shots. He is dismantling opponent defenses on a regular basis for the Dallas Mavericks. He is doing everything expected from him, scoring 17 points per game, shooting 50 percent from the floor and 43 percent from the arc. And his three-point shooting percent this season is his career-best.
Nowitzki is only behind MVP Stephen Curry in terms of offensive efficiency, scoring at 1.14 points per possession. Turning softness into strength is his passion, which keeps his momentum intact at 37, when others decide to retire from the game.
Nowitzki hailed 20-year-old Porzingis after the game. “He’s for real,” Nowitzki pointed out. “He’s long, he’s athletic, he can put the ball on the floor. He’s the complete package.”
“He’s probably way ahead of the curve compared to when I was 20,” Nowitzki added. “I was scared to death out there competing against some of my heroes that first year. He’s way better than I was at 20. The comparison is probably unfair to him.”