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Kristaps Porzingis is making most of Euro experience

Kristaps Porzingis is finally getting a taste of winning.

After two losing seasons with the Knicks that followed his rough final year in the Spanish League, Porzingis is part of a Latvian national team that is becoming the surprise of the European Championships.

While Porzingis didn’t put up big numbers, unsung Latvia stunned Russia on Tuesday, 84-69, to move onto the elimination round, coming out of Group D with the best record at 3-1.  A handful of Knicks front office types and scouts are in Europe watching their trio of players that includes Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Willy Hernangomez.

Porzingis had averaged 24 points in the first four games, but got into foul trouble against Russia and played just 24 minutes, scoring 11 points with four rebounds. He was 5-of-6 from the free-throw line and was an impressive plus-8, but it was the second time in four games Porzingis was plagued with fouls.

Afterward, Porzingis joined a group of top names in the tourney who has complained about the tournament’s officiating.

The Knicks’ two other participants, Hernangomez of Spain and Kuzminskas of Lithuania, also are advancing to the elimination round. They, too, are posting strong numbers.

Kuzminskas, who was in and out of Jeff Hornacek’s rotation as a rookie, is Lithuania’s leading scorer, averaging 16.3 points on 49 percent shooting. He’s clicking at 40 percent on 3-pointers after showing a dip in his long bombs late in his first year with the Knicks.

The three Euros probably won’t be in New York until close to the start of training camp, which begins Sept. 25.

After Labor Day, several more Knicks arrived for informal workouts in Tarrytown, including Damyean Dotson, a rookie shooting guard and Houston resident about whom the Knicks were concerned because of Hurricane Harvey.

In fact, Dotson was invited to play with Carmelo Anthony at his unofficial scrimmages at his Manhattan gym, along with Tim Hardaway Jr. and point guards Chasson Randle and Frank Ntilikina, who elected not to play in the Euro tournament so he can work out in New York.

Anthony’s work with his fellow mates is an indication he likely will wind up at Knicks training camp at the start. The Knicks’ new management has failed to come close on any multi-team deals involving Anthony’s top choice, the Rockets.

Source: http://nypost.com/2017/09/06/kristaps-porzingis-is-making-most-of-euro-experience/

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