If the New York Knicks are going to turn the 2016-17 NBA regular season around, Kristaps Porzingis believes it’s going to take an improved effort by the players.
The New York Knicks are in the midst of what ranks amongst the most disappointing seasons in franchise history. Despite entering 2016-17 with the potential to be a force in the Eastern Conference, New York is 10 games below .500.
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If the Knicks are going to overcome this disappointing start and turn the season around, then the execution will need to improve.
One of the few bright spots in 2016-17 has been second-year power forward Kristaps Porzingis. Though a nagging achilles injury has hindered his availability and execution, Porzingis has managed to put forth an excellent second season.
“We have to do a better job as players,” Porzingis said. “We have to find solutions because it’s frustrating knowing what we can achieve and not getting there. This whole thing doesn’t come together and work as it’s supposed to, then us as players, we’ve got to give more and figure it out ourselves a lot of times.”
Accountability is the first step towards improvement, albeit with a closing window to execute a turnaround.
Porzingis is currently averaging 18.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.7 offensive rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.9 blocks, and 1.9 3-point field goals made in 33.0 minutes per game. He’s doing so on a slash line of .450/.380/.779.
Even with an injury disrupting his natural movement, Porzingis has managed to solidify his place as a rising star.
Unfortunately, the Knicks are 22-32 after 54 games and on pace to miss the playoffs.
New York has win percentages of .435 when Porzingis plays and .250 when he doesn’t in 2016-17. That’s a troubling reality, but it’s no more disconcerting than New York finishing with a record of 6-19 since entering Christmas Day at 16-13.
If the Knicks are going to turn this season around, they’ll need to erase a 3.5-game deficit in order to capture the No. 8 seed with 28 games remaining on the schedule.