The New York Knicks have been extremely cautious during the NBA preseason. Both during games and practices, New York is doing everything it can to assure it enters the 2015-16 regular season in good health.
That includes ignoring a, “100 percent,” diagnosis and resting its star rookie for an extra day.
According to the Knicks’ official Public Relations Twitter account, New York went the extra mile with its precaution when Porzingis and Kyle O’Quinn missed practice on Thursday, October 15.
O’Quinn is healthy, which makes his absence nothing too concerning.
Fortunately, Porzingis told reporters that he’s back at 100 percent. His missing practice is simply a precautionary measure being taken by Derek Fisher and the coaching staff.
Unfortunately, he’s expected to miss Friday’s game against the Boston Celtics.
Missing a preseason game is concerning, but Porzingis being back at full health is an encouraging sign.
New York travels down south for its first preseason road game on Saturday, October 17. It’ll face the Charlotte Hornets at the Time Warner Cable Arena before battling the Celtics in Boston on Thursday, October 22.
The latter game will be the Knicks’ last of the preseason.
It’s encouraging that Porzingis is at 100 percent, but he needs as many repetitions as possible in the process of learning the Triangle Offense.
Friday’s home game is looking unlikely, and there’s a legitimate possibility that Porzingis could miss Saturday’s game, as well. That isn’t because of his health, but instead the manner in which coach Fisher prepares his rotations.
As Ian Begley of ESPN New York noted, Fisher prefers to sit players out of games if they didn’t practice.
That could mean Porzingis, a rookie who’s attempting to learn the Triangle Offense and adjust to the pace of the NBA, will play in just three preseason games—two of which he’s been active for already.
In those two outings, Porzingis has accumulated averages of 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 3-point field goals made in 21.0 minutes of action.
The preseason and regular season are played at entirely different speeds. Nevertheless, the preseason offers young players an opportunity to experience their first taste of NBA basketball while veterans shake off the offseason rust.
There’s no need to panic, but one has to imagine the Knicks will do everything they can to get Porzingis to the regular season with both perfect health and an adequate level of preparation.
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