Morning Shootaround: Fun Kristaps

Lauri > Kristaps?

Kristaps in Eurobasket

Kristaps Porzingis is a Very Good and Fun basketball player. It’s sometimes easy to forget this fact because he plays for the decidedly Not Good and Not Fun New York Knicks, who for the past two years have generally kept him in a triangular cage and forbidden him from doing fun things like taking deep three pointers and participating in pick-and-rolls. If you happen to have forgotten how awe-inspiring Porzingis can be, his play for the Latvian national team in EuroBasket 2017 should come as a revelation. As the focal point of a free-flowing, pass-happy, quick-shooting Latvian offense, Porzingis has dominated the competition and looked downright joyful doing it. He’s rained fire from deep beyond the arc, bum-rushed to the rim for putback dunks, and put the ball on the floor like a small forward. Check out these highlights from a recent game against Turkey in which Porzingis logged 28 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks:

This is Fun Kristaps. This is Happy Kristaps. This is the Kristaps we all deserve. This is the Kristaps long-suffering Knicks fans should hope to see in Madison Square Garden this year.

Markkanen in Eurobasket

Kristaps Porzingis is very good at basketball, but Bulls rookie big man Lauri Markkanen, currently playing for his native Finland in EuroBasket 2017, is better. Don’t believe me? Compare the two freakishly tall big mens’ EuroBasket stat lines:

Kristaps Porzingis: 28.3 PTS, 7.1 REB, 2.4 BLK per 36, .608 TS%

Lauri Markkanen: 28.6 PTS, 7.9 REB, 1 BLK per 36, .691 TS%

Markkanen edges out Porzingis in almost every statistical category, so he is clearly the better player. He will do things against NBA-caliber talent that Porzingis can only dream of doing. Twitter told us this, and so we believe it. If it is on Twitter it must be true. The internet never lies or exaggerates. Ever.

Here are some highlights of Markkanen tearing it up on the way to 27 points and nine rebounds in a double-overtime EuroBasket thriller against Poland. Make of it what you will.

Isaiah Thomas’s hip

Hot off penning what is perhaps the greatest Players’ Tribune article of all time, freshly minted Cleveland Cavalier Isaiah Thomas is back to rehabbing his lingering hip injury. Details about that hip injury have been oddly hard to come by–nobody has been able to say for certain its severity or even to isolate exactly when he initially got hurt. Cavaliers GM Koby Altman shed some light on the situation Thursday in Thomas’s introductory press conference. According to Altman, the current plan is to pursue a slow and non-surgical rehabilitative process to get Thomas healed and back into playing shape. Altman declared that the Cavaliers had established no set timetable for this rehab process, so the possibility remains that Thomas misses extended time in the upcoming season. The lack of concrete details about this hip injury is concerning for both the upcoming Cavaliers season and the remainder of 28-year-old Thomas’s career. Here’s wishing IT a speedy and successful recovery.

Return of the Pod

The 5th Quarter Podcast will return over the weekend and you ought to be excited. The topics of the 13th episode have not been decided yet, but do know that hot sauce will be discussed, as is always the case. Send us your questions below and we might answer them!

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Editor’s Note

It’s the offseason. Although certain days give us flare and excite us for the upcoming season, there is an overall lack things to discuss. Thus, Morning Shootarounds will be limited to weekly renditions on Fridays until the season starts. We will, however, do a mailbag with each rendition; shooters, shoot your shot. Tweet us your questions. Email us your questions. Send your questions via carrier pigeon. Submit them below. However! Figure it out, but get it done!

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The Staff

The Hoops Inquirer is devoted to bringing you quality journalism on basketball at all levels. We cover news and provide insight from across the NBA, occasionally dabbling with the WNBA. On the collegiate front, we keep you updated on upcoming prospects and go mad when March comes around. We also cover the smaller stories that are equally as important, stepping foot into high school gymnasiums or onto the blacktop.

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