The Knicks won’t go into full tank mode, at least not yet.
After falling to the NBA-worst Nets for the second time in five days on Thursday, the subject of tanking hangs over the Garden and has received a somewhat mixed reaction inside the Knicks’ locker room.
Last season got to the point where Carmelo Anthony asked then-head coach Kurt Rambis to give the younger guys a chance.
When asked if he’d do something similar this season, Anthony said “maybe.”
“As we start winding down to the end of the season I think it’s a conversation to have,” Anthony said. “But until then, we got to get going on this road trip, get through this road trip and see what happens after that.”
While Anthony left the door open to sitting out games down the stretch he did also say he felt it was his “duty to still come out and play and try to win.”
Kristaps Porzingis, meanwhile, scoffed at the idea of sitting out games when asked a similar question before the game.
“No, no. What are you talking about,” Porzingis asked. “If I’m healthy I want to be out there.”
Porzingis wasn’t healthy Thursday night as he sat out with a bruised thigh.
The 7-3 forward expects to be back for the Knicks’ West Coast trip, which starts against the Clippers on Monday.
“I’m already feeling better,” Porzingis said. “So just one or two more days.”
Porzingis especially would like to finish out the season because he has been so injury-prone throughout his first two seasons.
The Knicks forward began his career with questions about his body type and durability and eventually missed 10 games his rookie season due to injuries, including the final seven games with a shoulder injury.
Porzingis has now missed 10 games this season, too.
“This is the tough part now, to finish the season,” he said. “For me, the mindset is just going out there every day and giving my all. That way once the season is over you have no feeling of regret.”
While Porzingis hopes to finish the season strong and healthy, Jeff Hornacek wants to use the final 13 games as a building block for next year.
“We’ll continue to play like we do,” said Hornacek, who conceded on Tuesday the Knicks will not make the playoffs. “If something comes down from management or if something happens then we’ll change.
“I think all us coaches assume all the guys will be back for next year,” he said. “We have to do a couple things now to see if we can build something next year. (The starters) might be in there at the end of the season or we’ll take those guys out but for now we’ll play as is.”
BACK TO LINSANITY
Jeremy Lin was back where it all began Thursday night.
Five years after “Linsanity,” the point guard from Harvard was back playing at Madison Square Garden, this time as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
Though, the Nets point guard doesn’t get too caught up in playing on the court that catapulted his career.
“At this point, not really. Maybe my first time back, maybe my second time back,” Lin said. “Each time it gets a little more diluted in terms of, like, more time has gone pass beyond like five or six years ago.”
Lin finished with 15 points, eight assists and four rebounds in a 121-110 victory over the Nets’ intra-city rival Knicks, their second win over them this week.
“Two wins in a few days is already special enough,” Lin said. “I don’t say that to make fun of ourselves but it is important for us to see success and do better.”
Published at Fri, 17 Mar 2017 04:06:46 +0000