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Kristaps Porzingis     William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Kristaps Porzingis will get a chance to play his idol Dirk Nowitzki today (December 7) when the New York Knicks play the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden. 

The Latvian rookie wants to follow in Nowitzki's footsteps. Porzingis credits Nowitzki as the player that paved the way for him. "He's one of the best of all time," Porzingis said to reporters. "Dirk's just amazing. I want to be as great as a shooter as he is one day, hopefully.

Both players are tall European players that can shoot well. Nowitzki has shown that big men that can shoot can thrive in the NBA. The Dallas power forward is a guaranteed hall of famer and for someone like Porzingis, getting to play with his idol means the world to him. 

Dirk Nowitzki
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

"If he has something to say to me, some advice or something, obviously, I'll listen to him," Porzingis said. Every game for Porzingis is a learning experience. He has made rookie mistakes and he will keep doing so because that's the best way to learn. While the Knicks would be happy to make the playoffs this year, they are more than happy to see their fourth pick has played much better than they could have imagined.

This game means a lot for the Knicks. They have been struggling at home and are still trying to find their identity. A win against Dallas can send the Knicks into a good run and set them up for a playoff spot to start the new year. Expect Porzingis to come out with more determination than he usually does, if that is even possible for the breakout rookie.

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