Knicks News: Kristaps Porzingis to Start, Hopes to Avoid Rookie Wall

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According to Ian Begley of ESPN, New York Knicks‘ head coach Derek Fisher hinted that fourth overall pick rookie Kristaps Porzingis will be in the starting lineup for the season opener next Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks.

"“Overall health should allow us tomorrow to play in a way that would be consistent with how we’ll start the season in terms of rotation,”"

With Porzingis starting in every preseason game in which he was available for, it stands to reason that Porzingis will start come the regular season. Key word being when available…Porzingis has already miss two preseason games…being held out for precautionary measures, with the organization thinking long-term for the 20 year-old rookie.

Porzingis fully understands just how long and grueling the NBA season will be, per Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.

"“I haven’t heard anybody who said it’s easy, 82 games,”“Everybody is like ‘you’d better take care of your body because it’s a long season, a long 82 games. All the traveling and everything…’ so that takes a lot of energy. The most important thing is get my recovery, get my sleep, and hopefully I’ll be fine.”"

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Hopefully Porzingis will be fine… Porzingis has never played in so many games in such a short period of time. With three games in five nights a common thing in the NBA, it will be interesting to see how Porzingis’ body holds up, especially since we have yet to see Porzingis play in more than two games in a week’s stretch. The Knicks are set to have 17 back-to-back games this upcoming season, hopefully Porzingis can endure.

Another worry with the long 82-game season is the dreaded rookie wall for Porzingis, something he seems fully aware of and hopes to avoid it.

"“You can hear all you want about how hard it is and stuff, but once you go through it you feel it in your own skin,”“Hopefully I don’t hit that wall. I’ll try to prepare myself for that. But it happens to everybody. So I’ve just got to get my recovery, get my sleep, be as fresh as possible for every game.”"

Porzingis being in the starting lineup is probably the best thing for the 20 year-old rookie. Superstar Carmelo Anthony will draw most of the defensive attention, while Jose Calderon will a great pick-and-pop, and pick-and-roll partner. Veterans Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez will also most likely see more of the defensive focus as well, freeing up Porzingis on offense.

Although on the other hand, the downside for Porzingis starting right away is that he will be immediately thrown to the wolves, facing starters right from tip-off. With the higher level in competition, hopefully Porzingis does not get too discouraged as he will inevitably be taken advantage of by savvy NBA starters. Hopefully it will not crush his confidence, which really should not be a problem as Porzingis seems to be a very confident young man.

Just to play devil’s advocate, if Porzingis were to come off the bench and facing lower caliber players, it could help further build up his confidence. Although this would slowly allow Porzingis to earn his starting spot, I really do like the idea of Porzingis being thrown to the wolves, allowing Porzingis to fast track past all the typical rookie mistakes. Although the Knicks’ record will most likely suffer for Porzingis’ inexperience, I rather see Porzingis develop faster.

Let’s see what the kid has right away!

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