Every game the Sixers and the Knicks play, for the rest of eternity, basically, is going to be a referendum on draft night decision-making. Now, that's pretty ridiculous in its own way - not only would the local media have likely staged a violent coup d'état to remove Sam Hinkie from office for taking a "mystery man" over a "sure thing," but the team really did need something resembling a "sure thing". Between the Joel Embiid uncertainty, Dario Saric's arrival time unclear and Michael Carter-Williams out of town, the team needed a high-floor (and to some, ostensibly high-ceiling) prospect to rely on. Porzingis didn't project to translate this well and this smoothly on defense from day one, and his rebounding and general presence around the rim was a real problem for him last season.
But man, does he look good. He has an even Net Rating, swats two shots per game and is pulling down 8.3 rebounds per game in 27 minutes; the latter two are doubly impressive when we consider he's sharing a front-court with Robin Lopez and Co. I don't doubt that Jahlil Okafor would be the King of The Big Apple (TM) playing beside real NBA players in Carmelo Anthony and Arron Afflalo, with worlds of space to work with, but Porzingis is a sight to behold.
Yeah, Okafor's going to have to box-out a little more tonight.
Speaking of Okafor: this has been arguably the most efficient week of his NBA career thus far, so naturally, Sixers Twitter is collectively trying to trade him for Ryan Anderson and a protected pick (*furiously co-signs*). In his last five games, he's racking up 21.6 points, nine boards and one block (rim protector!) on 49 percent from the field, 91 percent from the line and 55 percent True Shooting.
Counting stats are counting stats, sure, but - and Sean O'Connor made a really great point about this - high-volume and ridiculously high-usage yielding a product that is still managing to shoot a solid percentage on decent efficiency? That's not nothing. It's something. Something is good.
Meanwhile, I look forward to all of the revisionist history and the "should have drafted!" guffaws when Kristaps goes for 27 and 12 tonight. And for the next decade as well, I suppose. Information and results coming after a decision is made shouldn't necessarily change your opinion of how valid that original decision was at the time. Isn't that partially what "Trust the Process" means?