All-Star big man Kristaps Porzingis is now a member of the Boston Celtics. In honor of his choice to wear No. 8 in Boston, here are eight things that every Celtics fan may like to know about Porzingis…
He’s a legitimate third scoring option
Apologies to Marcus Smart fans, but he never was and never will be a legitimate top-3 scoring option. Replacing him with Porzingis gives the Celtics a strong No.3 scorer behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
In his career, Porzingis has averaged 22.7 points per 36 minutes. He doesn’t score as efficiently as a traditional big man would, as a career 45.3 percent shooter from the field. But he tends to make up for it by being an uncommonly skilled long-range shooter for a 7-footer (35.9 percent career rate from three-point range) and by consistently making over 80 percent of his free throws.
On top of that, Porzingis’ skill set is more what the Celtics want from their bigs, and it’s become more of a trend across the NBA in recent years. Even still, Porzingis has improved his low post game. He tied with fellow tall European stars Nikola Jokić and Luka Dončić for the highest scoring frequency on low-post plays last season (60 percent).
Porzingis arrives to Boston with other questions and concerns that are fair to raise (more on that below), but there’s little doubt about his ability to impact the game at the offensive end, and in a variety of ways, which not a lot of centers in the NBA can say.