Kristaps Porzingis downplaying ‘pinch’ in knee
LOS ANGELES — Kristaps Porzingis continues to downplay a right knee issue and said he’s not considering taking any games or practices off at this point.
“I’m too young to think about that,” the 21-year-old said before contributing 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots to the Knicks’ 118-112 victory over the Lakers on Sunday night. “I’ve got to keep going as much as I can. I want to have an 82-game season this year.”
Porzingis, who missed 10 games as a rookie, said he doesn’t know how to explain what he’s feeling. He called it a “pinch” and Jeff Hornacek said it’s “a catch.” Both say it doesn’t appear to be serious. Porzingis said he hasn’t undergone an X-ray or MRI.
“Whenever I put my knee in a certain position, I get a little bit of that pinch in the muscle,” Porzingis said. “It’s nothing serious. The moment it happened, it slowly grew a little bit, the pain. The same way I’m trying to get rid of it, slowly.’’
Porzingis, who entered Sunday night shooting only 31.3 percent in five December games, said the pinch goes away when he warms up. He said “one wrong movement” in practice led to this and that he’s dealing with “a couple of little things.”
“Nothing too serious,” he said. “Trying to get rid of them as soon as possible, have no pain while I’m playing. I’m trying to get all my recovery stuff to make the pain disappear.”
In and out
Derrick Rose (25 points, 12-for-16 shooting) returned after missing the previous two games with lower-back tightness, but the Knicks were without Kyle O’Quinn because of a sprained right ankle.
Phil helps protégé
Lakers coach Luke Walton, who played for Phil Jackson, said he’s called his old coach for advice and that he’s always delivered.
“I try to get his opinion on how he thinks and should handle something in practice as far as getting better at certain stuff,” Walton said. “Just picking his brain on that type of stuff. So far he’s batting 100 percent with the advice he gives.”
Mindfulness and Lou
When Jackson addressed the Knicks before practice Saturday during one of their mindfulness training sessions, he made them aware of Lakers high-scoring sub Lou Williams. Rose said it was the first time Jackson mentioned another player in a meditation meeting.
“It wasn’t no scouting report,” Rose said. “He just told us it was something we have to handle for sure. That was the first time he heard him talking about a player, actually.”
Williams had 24 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals in 26 minutes against the Knicks.