After a season full of drama and dysfunction within the organization, the New York Knicks have started off the 2017-18 season with a new look, as power forward Kristaps Porzingis is now the superstar and face of the franchise. The 22-year-old from Latvia is in his third year with the Knicks and is expected to have his breakout season as a player, now that he is the focal point of a team that has seen a lot of ups and downs in recent years.

Humble beginnings

After being selected the Knicks fourth overall in the 2015 NBA draft, a lot of fans were upset by the decision because Porzingis was basically an unknown and no one knew what to expect from him, but all those opinions changed during his rookie season.

In his debut game against the Milwaukee Bucks on October 28, 2015, Porzingis scored 16 points, leading the Knicks to a 122-97 win. Playing alongside star small forward Carmelo Anthony, Knicks fans were excited to see what this duo could as the season progressed. However, the season was anything but special as the team finished 13th in the eastern conference with a 32-50 record. Porzingis showed he was going to be future great in the NBA, starting 72 games and averaged 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while being named to the NBA all-rookie first team and finishing second in rookie of the year voting.

The next season was viewed to be a great one for the Knicks, thanks to a trade that sent Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose and the signings of free agents Joakim Noah and Brandon Jennings.

Porzingis improved from last season, even though he missed some playing time due to injury, averaging 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. The Knicks would end up doing worse than the year before, finishing with a 31-51 record and 12th in the eastern conference. The season was also filled with drama within the organization, ranging from poor play, frustration among players, and even Knicks legend Charles Oakley being manhandled and arrested at a game after fighting with security.

Porzingis showed his frustration by missing his exit meeting with head coach Jeff Hornaceck, leaving fans wondering if he was going to be back next year.

Superstar in the making

Following last years disappointing season, the Knicks went through some changes. Starting with the resignation of team president Phil Jackson after three seasons, being replaced by Steve Mills, Scott Perry being named the new general manager, and trading Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 second round draft pick.

With Porzingis back and in the spotlight of Madison Square Garden, he had a lot to prove and breakout big. So far, he has delivered and brought amazing play to a team that desperately wants a championship. In seven of the 12 games he's played so far this season, Porzingis has scored 30 or more points. On November 3, against the Phoenix Suns, he scored 37 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a 120-107 victory and two days, performed even better, finishing with a career-high 40 points, eight rebounds, and six blocks in a 108-101 win against the Indiana Pacers.

Currently, Porzingis is leading all Knicks players in points per game, with 29.5, and has become the leader of a squad that is currently 7-6 and in sixth place in the conference. If they keep playing the way they are and if Porzingis keeps putting up high numbers, the Knicks will most likely get a spot in the playoffs.