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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Kurt Rambis wants Kristaps Porzingis to play small forward?

Kristaps Porzingis

Here’s just our latest indication that Kurt Rambis might not be the right guy to serve as the permanent head coach of the New York Knicks.

According to a report by Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal on Friday, Rambis envisions prized rookie Kristaps Porzingis eventually seeing some time at the small forward position:

Kurt Rambis has said that due to the athleticism and versatility of Kristaps Porzingis, he could “eventually see him at the 3-spot some,” referring to the small-forward position.

Come again?

Other than the sheer hilarity of a 7-foot-3 dude lining up at small forward, there are a number of reasons why this wouldn’t work. Playing Porzingis at the 3 would pull him away from the rim on defense and relegate him to floating around aimlessly by the perimeter on offense. While the Latvian’s lateral quickness is excellent for a big man, good luck getting him (or any seven-footer for that matter) to contain fleet-footed wings up high, a locale which would also conveniently take Porzingis out of rebounding position.

Porzingis, who has cooled off considerably after a red-hot start to his rookie year perhaps due to Rambis’ failure to utilize him properly after taking over for Derek Fisher, is nonetheless a walking mismatch at the 5 with his ability to post-up efficiently, space the floor with this shooting stroke, crash the glass, and block shots. Any coach that neutralizes that elite blend of strengths by trying to force the 20-year-old to play so far out of position is grossly misusing his talent and should probably be prosecuted as a war criminal.

Exaggerations aside, we can only hope that Rambis is joking around here in an attempt to satirize the “positionless basketball” trend that is revolutionizing the NBA. Because if he’s actually serious, perhaps Phil Jackson coming back down from the front office to return as a head coach would be the lesser of two evils for the Knicks.

H/T ProBasketballTalk

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