WASHINGTON — Wizards coach Scott Brooks has seen enough of Kristaps Porzingis that he believes he’s not only the future of the Knicks but one of the future faces of the NBA.
“He’s definitely going to be one of the best players in the league very soon,” Brooks said. “He’s a great player now and it’s pretty remarkable to see him improve so quickly. Definitely on his way to being an All-Star.”
Brooks coached Kevin Durant, so he’s worked with versatile big men who can score. But Brooks doesn’t want to compare Porzingis to anyone because of his skill set.
“He’s unique because the guy is 7-3 and he can put the ball on the floor and he has like point guard moves,” Brooks said. “He has a step-back [jumper]. He has a crossover. He does backdoor lobs. He does so many great things on the floor offensively and then defensively he rebounds, he block shots, he crashes the boards offensively.
“He’s one of those guys that’s going to be a complete basketball player. You’re not going to be able to pigeonhole him like ‘He plays like this guy.’ He does a little bit of everybody in the league.”
Bench moves ball better
Jeff Hornacek acknowledged that when the Knicks have Porzingis on the floor with four subs, including Brandon Jennings and Justin Holiday, the ball and bodies move more than with the starting five. Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony are among the biggest culprits at holding the ball.
“They’re getting better,” Hornacek said of the starting unit. “We have stretches when we’re moving the ball pretty well and other times we don’t. When it doesn’t move there’s a reason, some of those guys can score when they have the ball.
“We’re trying to find that balance and hopefully things don’t get stagnant that often.”
Thomas still sidelined
Lance Thomas said he has a bone bruise in his left ankle in addition to plantar fasciitis in both feet and isn’t sure when he will return. He missed his third straight game.
“The sensation is really painful,” Thomas said. “It’s really affecting how I move. I’m just trying to give it some time to calm down so I can come back and be effective for the team. I’m not giving it a timetable. I don’t want to play those mind games with myself.”
Hornacek hopes Thomas can return sometime next week.
Not chasing Chasson
Rookie point guard Chasson Randle is averaging 26.5 points in his first two games for the Westchester Knicks, but Hornacek said he probably wouldn’t be called up unless there’s an injury in the backcourt. Randle likely would have made the Knicks had he not suffered a fractured orbital bone in the preseason.
“We have an eye on him,” Hornacek said. “But with the group we have now, with the 15 guys, we’d have to have an injury for him to come up.”