Knicks News: Kristaps Porzingis DOES NOT Believe He Hit the Rookie Wall


Earlier last week the New York Knicks‘ rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis was on top of the world.

Porzingis scored the second most points in his young career, 28 points against the Dallas Mavericks and his childhood idol; Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki, whom many say Porzingis most resembles, even gave praise to the fellow European. Dirk said that Porzingis has tremendous upside and that he is for real.

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Kristaps though, humbly said that he still has a lot to learn from Dirk.

That was then.

This is now. Since the dream-like duel between Porzingis and Nowitzki, New York’s rookie has been on a nightmarish slump. In the last three games Porzingis has only averaged 5.67 points per game, including a zero point outing against the Portland Trail Blazers. Porzingis is shooting just 20.47% from the field during this slump.

Some would say that the Latvian has hit the proverbial rookie wall, but not according to the man-child himself, as per Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News.

"“I don’t think so,”“A couple of bad games, it happens. It happens to all of us, not only rookies. I’m just looking forward to the next game and preparing myself as good as I can. I don’t really know what a rookie wall is. So it’s ups and downs. Obviously this is my rookie season.”"

Porzingis has a theory of his own. He feels that he is now given more defensive attention than was the case earlier in the season, that team’s defense are starting to key in on him, possibly explaining his current struggles.

"“A few of the games I felt more attention on me,”“Guys were playing tighter on me on the perimeter. That’s some of the things I have to be ready for and whatever comes, I still got to be aggressive. I’ve still got to help the team offensively.”"

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Coming into the league as a relative unknown, defenses did not pay attention to Porzingis early on. Defenses doubled and triple-teamed superstar Carmelo Anthony, leaving the rookie to roam freely. Now that he has just won November Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month and is on ESPN nightly highlights dunking over everybody, you bet ya ass that you got people’s attention now. Porzinigis is on everybody’s defensive radar now.

Although Porzingis does not admit to hitting the rookie wall, he does admits to being fatigued by the grueling NBA schedule as per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

"“I guess my legs weren’t feeling as good as they should feel,”“I would say it wears you down being on the road, playing game after game,”“But I think I’ve prepared myself, I did the recovery. Obviously you can still feel your legs are not 100%. I try to be at the best shape possible. But it’s tough.”"

Head coach Derek Fisher though came to the rookie’s defense.

"“Every player goes through it in our league in different levels. I think a number of our players went through it (Saturday) being the third game in four nights and the intensity of our schedule. So, for sure, rookies are going to feel it the most,”“They’re accustomed to playing the number of games we’ve played already through the course of the entire course of the college season. Or international play, one or two games a week is nowhere near what this is. But he’ll be able to come back and give us the energy. He helps us even when he’s not jumping off the charts and so we won’t make a habit of him not being on the floor. We just did what we thought was best (Saturday).”"

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The next game will be Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, so Porzingis should have had a rare three days off. Hopefully these days will rejuvenate the 20 year-old rookie.