New York Knicks: Kristaps Porzingis adjusting to overcome non-calls

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 27: Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the New York Knicks drives between Robin Lopez #42 (L) and Kris Dunn #32 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on December 27, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 27: Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the New York Knicks drives between Robin Lopez #42 (L) and Kris Dunn #32 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on December 27, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis hasn’t been getting the benefit of the whistle. Thankfully, he and Jeff Hornacek are learning to adapt.


Kristaps Porzingis will be the last person to make excuses for a month that nearly devolved into a learning experience. As the New York Knicks star looks to work through a tough stretch, however, he’s inevitably expressing frustration with one of the contributing factors to his inconsistency.

As smaller defenders—and they’re all smaller defenders—begin to hit his elbow while defending his jump shot, head coach Jeff Hornacek has provided his star with answers.

For those who missed it, Porzingis told reporters that defenders are hitting him on his elbow, which is inevitably altering his shooting form. He isn’t getting the calls that coincide with being fouled, however, which has him pondering what he needs to do differently.

According to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News, Hornacek explained why Porzingis isn’t getting the benefit of the whistle and discussed what he can do to change that.

"“I do think he’s getting hit on the elbow. But the referees are telling me the defenders are putting their hands straight up,” the coach said. “I think he’s going to have to lift it up a little bit more. It’s his form, the way he shoots. He’s coming forward. The referees are telling me the defenders are not reaching over, they’re just putting their hands straight up. He’ll make some adjustments.”"

It would be easy for Porzingis to let the non-calls distract him from the task at hand, but he remains focused on steady improvement in the pursuit of the postseason.

Porzingis is facing the same type of treatment as players such as LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal. That in no way means he’s as great as those players just yet, but instead a comment on the fact that he’s his era’s physical anomaly.

Due to the fact that players like James, O’Neal, and Porzingis can overwhelm opponents with their physical gifts alone, referees often swallow their whistle.

Rather than allowing said players to dominate with their size, the referees let would normally be a foul slide as a product of simply attempting to defend said players.

Porzingis has been going to referees before games and asking them to look for the fouls they’re currently letting go. The deep scratches on his arm should be evidence enough, as opposing players have been going to extreme measures to overcome their height disadvantage.

Thankfully, coach Hornacek is addressing the issue head-on and working with his franchise player to find a solution.

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Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks have reached a proverbial crossroads. They’ll make it through these trying times together.