The New York Knicks have invested their future in veteran small forward Carmelo Anthony and rookie power forward Kristaps Porzingis. Anthony is healthy and thriving during the preseason, but only half of that can be said for Porzingis.
For the third time since June, Porzingis has suffered an injury to the upper region of his left leg.
This isn’t reason to panic, but it’s certainly not good.
Porzingis’ work ethic is undeniably powerful, as evidenced by the 11 pounds of muscle he’s put on since being drafted. Encouraging as that may be, it could play a factor in his current health issues.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, the Knicks are actively pursuing preventative measures, including the possibility of changing Porzingis’ workout regimen.
"“There’s definitely something that we need to try and figure out [to] make sure to try and help him limit the injuries and the setbacks,” Fisher said. “It’s for him, it’s for us, it’s for our medical team. We’ll figure it out.”"
It’s only the preseason, which is a major reason for New York being cautious.
The good news is that Porzingis’ injury isn’t serious. The bad news is that it’s the third time since June that the upper region of his left leg has given him trouble.
The Knicks are attempting to get to the bottom of the issue.
The optimistic mentality is that a change in his workout practices will prevent further issue. The more troubling possibility is that Porzingis has an underlying issue with his left leg that needs to be addressed.
For the time being, it’d be unfair to to label Porzingis as injury-prone in any sense of the term.
On the court, Porzingis is a basketball anomaly. He’s 7’1.5″ without shoes, a projected 7’3″ in shoes and one of the best shooters to emerge from the 2015 NBA Draft.
Through two preseason games, he’s averaging 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 3-point field goals in 21.0 minutes. He made two 3-point field goals in his preseason debut and posted 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in his second outing.
From a basketball perspective, Porzingis is every bit as skilled and versatile as he’s been hyped up to be. That doesn’t mean he’ll develop according to plan, but he has the tools to be great.
If he can’t stay healthy, none of that will matter.
New York expects Porzingis to be back for Friday’s preseason outing against the Boston Celtics. If he does miss another game, it’ll be a matter of erring on the side of caution—the same approach being taken with Arron Afflalo.
There’s no reason to panic, but this could be a turning point in New York’s progressive development of their future franchise player.
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