The New York Knicks emerged from Veteran’s Day Weekend battered, bruised and right where we all expected them to be this season.
Through 14 games, the team is 4-10 following a pair of blowout losses to the Toronto Raptors and, more embarrassingly, the Orlando Magic. While the culture around the Knicks is changing under new head coach David Fizdale, the reality of the situation is that he is attempting to navigate a young, inexperienced and just not good enough roster through the 2018-19 season without star big man Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis is continuing his recovery from a torn ACL back in February, one that is shrouded in mystery as no one is really sure when the 23-year-old will be back.
Heading into the season a timetable that was initially set for a return around Christmas made way for the possibility that he wouldn’t suit up this season at all.
That would be the worst-case scenario for a Knicks team that is going to be vastly different come next season. With two max-salary roster slots expected to be open, the Knicks are going to be able to bring in established stars to thrust the team toward contending status. Having Porzingis try to reacclimate to in-game speeds after possibly 20 months off with a new-look team looking to make waves in the East won’t help.
After head coach David Fizdale suggested that Porzingis’ rehab was coming along slowly, the Latvian took to Instagram to dispel those rumors as he posted photos of him sprinting. Fizdale would go on to say he was unaware of Porzingis’ latest development.
Nonetheless, it’s a positive development for the Knicks as the photos suggest that Porzingis could, in fact, return to the Madison Square Garden court this season.
He revealed to GQ in a piece that ran on Tuesday that he is also on a new diet that has helped him feel revitalized:
My whole life has been about trying to put on weight because I’m so skinny, but at the same time, I used to eat five or six meals a day, and I would just feel sloppy. You’re eating so much that your body is digesting food all the time, and you don’t really have energy. I’ve changed that. I eat three times a day, big meals, and give myself more time in between each one. It’s a big, big difference—I feel way better.
However, he was quick to add that he has no updates on his return.
“Whenever they clear me, I’m going to be back,” he said.
That could be this winter given the progress he’s made. And it won’t come a moment too soon for a Knicks team that needs to see what they have from all corners of the roster before a monumental offseason.