Day after day, Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks have said the same thing about his Achilles injury: Tomorrow — it’ll be better tomorrow. Problem is, all those tomorrows are adding up.
Porzingis, who originally said there was a chance he could play against Milwaukee, instead sat out for his third straight game Wednesday night with what’s being classified as a sore left Achilles. On Tuesday, he said he expected to play — but then again, he also said that when the Knicks were set to take on the Magic on Monday.
“He says it’s not as sore as it has been,” coach Jeff Hornacek said. “It just feels stiff, so I think the stiffness is probably just because he hasn’t really done anything with it for four or five days.”
Porzingis’ last game was against the Pelicans on Dec. 30, and he was seen doing some exercises on the court pregame before disappearing into the trainers’ room. The 7-3 big man came into the game leading the team in minutes (34.8) and blocks (1.9) and averaging 20.1 points per game, second only to Carmelo Anthony.
“He couldn’t go yesterday and then this morning he was still sore. At that point, you’re only 35 games into the season, there’s no reason to take a chance,” Hornacek said. “We’ll go with the other guys and see if we can get a win . . . We’ll try to get him going in practice tomorrow and hopefully, the next time we play Milwaukee [Friday], he can play.”
Add another tomorrow to the total.
Hornacek downplays Melo’s isolated incident
Hornacek responded — just barely — to MSG Network footage showing him walking away in what appeared to be a huff after Anthony called his own number against the Magic Monday. (He missed the shot.)
“I don’t know the play [that was shown on television] but, I don’t know, there was some frustration in that game,” he said.
In the clip, which was shared on blogs and social media, Anthony tells his teammates to clear out and then motions to Kyle O’Quinn to set a screen, which O’Quinn fails to do. The moment Anthony calls the iso play, Hornacek turns his back to the action and walks away. Hornacek said he didn’t recall it.
“These guys are supposed to call plays. We’re not, as coaches, calling every play out there,” he said.
“Sometimes as coaches, we’re probably too hard on the guys. We expect perfection all the time . . . That’s on us. We can’t do that. Plays are going to happen. Guys are going to make decisions and it’s not always by the X’s and O’s.”