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The Mavericks host the Knicks and rookie phenom Kristaps Porzingis

Three 6 Latvia makes his first appearance in Dallas in another must win for the Mavericks

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
What stat, player or fact might surprise you about the Knicks?

Did you know that Kristaps Porzingis is the first seven foot or taller rookie since Andrea Bargnani to take over 200 3s, connect on at least 33 percent of them, and average at least seven rebounds, and 1.5 blocks? In fact, no other rookie over seven or taller has even come close to those numbers. It's just them. And while comparisons to Bargnani don't get you much in the NBA these days, it's clear that they are two completely different players.

Which Knicks player might be due for a big game?

Hmm, that's a tough call but I'm going to go with Porzingis. Look, Porzingis is the most exciting rookie in the NBA. Sure, people can talk about Karl Anthony Towns but there are way more exciting players on his own team. Besides, who cares about Minnesota? They have the worst all time franchise win percentage. With Porzingis we're talking about New York, baby! The Garden! The Mecca! The Porzingod! The kid, he's still 20, is 7'3" and is the toast of the town. Why? Because he's that good.

This season he's averaging 14.3 points per game on 42.1 percent shooting. He's also connecting on his 3s at a decent clip of 33.3 percent. When he was born, players his size never stretched the floor. But true to his frame he's also a good rebounder, pulling down 7.3 rebounds.

But what makes him so dangerous is that he's not a player who scores from one or two areas on the floor. He can score from anywhere. Inside, outside, baseline, midrange. He's got it all including the Dream Shake.

And that's just on offense.

He's also a good shot blocker as well. He averages 1.9 per contest and they look a little something like this:


He's magical.

What's the biggest matchup to watch?

You know what it is. It's Dirk Nowitzki versus Porzingis! Can I get a "Hell Yeah!"? The first time the two squared off in the Garden it was the stuff of legends. While they will invariably get compared to one another because they are tall, white European players, their games really aren't all that similar. Nowitzki never was as athletic as Porzingis is now and Porzingis' transition to the NBA has gone much smoother than Nowitzki's was initially. Only time will tell if Porzingis can develop the shooting acumen that has made Nowitzki a future first-ballot Hall of Famer. Just sit back and enjoy these two play, folks.

How to watch

Honestly, you should watch this one in person if you can. If you can't, however, tune in to FSSW or MSG (if you're in NY) at 7:30 p.m. Central Time.