On February 6, 2018 Knicks fans watched anxiously as Kristaps Porzingis fell and tore his ACL, but shortly after, the Madison Square Garden was filled with applause as Prozingis stood up from the painful fall and walked away from what was his last game as a Knick.
Fast forward to November 14, 2019 Porzingis made his first appearance back to New York, but only this time Porzingis returned as a Maverick and was greeted by an arena full of boos and not to mention “KP sucks” chants all throughout the game.
“It was another level,” said Knicks forward Marcus Morris after the game. “It looked like Porzingis was a little rattled, too, so it kind of helped us.”
The Knicks beat the Mavericks 106-103 Thursday night. Porzingis had the opportunity to go all out in his return to New York, but instead his performance was underwhelming.
Although Porzingis scored 20 points and 11 rebounds vs the Knicks, He is still not completely himself. He can be a good player and has great potential – it is just a matter of when. When will KP feel 100% confident to play like KP? After not playing for a year and eight months since his ACL injury, Porzingis is still adjusting to being back on the court.
So how does Kristaps Porzingis’ stats compare when it comes down to his pre-injury Knicks days vs his stats thus far with the Mavs?
|KP’s Avg.Career Stats||Knicks 2015-2017||Mavericks 2019|
|% of field goals||43.6%||40.2%|
|% of 3 pointers||36.1%||36.1%|
|Rebounds per game||7.0||8.2|
|Ast. per game||1.3||1.2|
|Blocks per game||2.1||2.5|
Although his stats seem fairly similar except for a decrease in field goal percentage, Porzingis has a -8.3 net rating when he is on the court and +19.6 net rating when he is off the court.
Dallas Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle said:
“KP is doing well, and we go day to day with it. We watch all of our players’ situation’s closely, his is no different. It is not just watching him and tracking stuff on apps, dials, and meters, it’s talking to guys and getting feedback. Getting the right kind of rest and sleep in the NBA season… is very challenging and often those kind of things factor in as well.”
KP might not play to his full potential until later in the season when he becomes more accustomed to the team. It might even take him the whole season for him to get fully accustomed to his team, body, and frankly playing basketball again after a long time off. Time can only tell what the future holds for Porzingis as a Dallas Maverick, but there are plenty of reasons for Mavs fans to be optimistic.
Brianna Ramirez is an intern with Back Sports Page, based in Dallas, TX. Follow her on Twitter @Brianna_R22.
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