One of the reasons why the New York Knicks were so determined to trade Carmelo Anthony was to elevate Kristaps Porzingis as the franchise player.
The Knicks were keen to build the team around the Latvian and allow him to be their number one option offensively.
They are fully embracing a youth movement and chose Porzingis to be the cornerstone of their team for the foreseeable future.
As the focal point of the Knicks offence, it's no surprise that the 22-year-old has taken more shots already this season and he's responded well to the added responsibility.
'The Unicorn' has produced some impressive performances in the team's start to the campaign with his best outing arguably coming last night against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He finished the game with 32 points and 12 rebounds in 36 minutes of action at Quicken Loans Arena as they stunned the home side with a 114-95 win.
In the process, he also rewrote the Knicks’ history books by becoming their first player ever to score at least 30 points in four of their first five games of the campaign.
Over the first five games, Porzingis is averaging career-high numbers of 26.5 points and 7.8 rebounds, to go along with 1.3 blocks per game.
The big man is definitely living up to expectations, and is giving the New York faithful a lot to cheer about despite the team losing their biggest star in the summer.
It was the youngster's first win over the Cavs after struggling against them in his first two years in the league and hopes it can be the springboard for better things.
“A lot of ‘L’s,” he said. “It’s nice finally to beat the Cavs for the first time in my career. Hopefully we can be in the playoffs, and that’s when it really matters.”
As well as KP's record-breaking night, the Knicks got a huge game out of Tim Hardaway Jr. who had a game-high 34 points.
He had started the season badly before last night after signing a four-year, $71 million deal with the team in the offseason.
“I’m happy for Tim,” Porzingis said. “He showed what he’s capable of doing.”
The win snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Cavaliers and Porzingis believes they can be a match for any team when they perform at this level.
“We’re capable of beating a lot of teams if we play like we did tonight,” he said.
The Knicks will hope they can gain some confidence and momentum after this impressive win and entertain the Denver Nuggets tonight in their first back-to-back of the year.