Kristaps Porzingis is a player unlike anything the NBA has seen before.
At 7-foot-3, he’s athletic and has the ability to stretch the floor, attack off the dribble, and he’s becoming increasingly effective around the basket in post-up and face-up situations.
Much of that is owed to former NBA player Audie Norris, who tutored Kristaps Porzingis while Porzingis played professionally in Spain before coming to the NBA.
In a profile of Norris’ work with Porzingis by SB Nation’s Kevin O’Connor, Norris describes how he taught Porzingis to embrace playing tougher closer to the basket, working on a handful of go-to moves he could use for when his shot isn’t falling. One of those moves is pursuing offensive rebounds, in particular, the put-back dunks that Porzingis has become famous for.
“No one boxes out and it’s real easy to rebound when you’re active,” Norris said.
“A lot of guys don’t have that drive to be that rebounder because it’s not glamorous. But he’s figuring it out. Anytime you have the skill and knowledge of the game, which Kris does, and he seems to be taking advantage of his opportunities.”
Porzingis’ high-flying put-backs have become a staple of NBA highlight reels this season.
“He’s already the put-back champion,” Norris said.
As O’Connor notes, Porzingis is averaging 1.26 points per possession on offensive rebounds, one of the highest marks in the league.
Porzingis has already flashed his versatile potential in other ways, making these put-backs less frequent (and necessary), but the NBA world thanks Norris for instilling this drive into Porzingis.
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