Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis will start in debut against Bucks

ByIan Begley ESPN logo
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

MILWAUKEE -- New York Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis will start at power forward in his NBA debut.

Porzingis will start alongside Jose Calderon, Sasha Vujacic, Carmelo Anthony and Robin Lopez in the Knicks' opener Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Knicks drafted Porzingis fourth overall in June and have been pleased with his progress in the preseason.

The 7-3 forward averaged 7.5 points on 37 percent shooting in four preseason games. He knocked down 37.5 percent of his 3-point attempts and grabbed 6.0 rebounds per game.

Knicks coach Derek Fisher discussed the thought process behind starting Porzingis after the team shootaround on Wednesday morning.

"I just think his versatility changes what can happen on the floor because of the multiple skills offensively and defensively," Fisher said. "We obviously drafted him No. 4. Why should we hold him on the shelf? It doesn't mean he's going to start all season, but we feel like we've seen enough that he deserves the opportunity to show what he can do."

Vujacic will start in place of injured shooting guard Arron Afflalo for New York.

Afflalo is listed as day to day with a left hamstring injury. Kevin Seraphin (knee) and Lou Amundson (back) are also out for the Knicks.

Milwaukee will be shorthanded for the season opener as well. Giannis Antetokounmpo is out because of a suspension, and O.J. Mayo (hamstring) and Jabari Parker (knee) are not expected to play.

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