GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Despite the disappointments, the downward spiral and that loss to the Pacers on Wednesday night, Kristaps Porzingis thinks the Knicks are learning something that can help them win a championship someday.
They’re just going to need Carmelo Anthony to do it.
“He’s very special and we need him to do big things in the future, especially for me,” the 7-3 rookie said at practice Thursday when confronted with the possibility that Anthony could waive his no-trade clause during the offseason. “I wouldn’t want to lose him. I love playing alongside him, so that would obviously not be something that I want.”
With frustration mounting and a chance at the playoffs all but disappearing, what once seemed like a far-off possibility — Anthony waiving his no-trade clause — has become more realistic recently.
After a rout by the Raptors on Monday night, he was eager to leave the Garden and decompress. On Wednesday night, he shot 5-for-20 in a 108-105 loss to the Pacers, in which he committed a technical foul with 1:29 to play and shot an air ball on a potential tying three-pointer at the buzzer. He wasn’t available to the media Thursday.
The Knicks (24-35) have lost 13 of 15 entering Friday night’s game against the Magic. They are 6 1⁄2 games out of the final playoff spot.
Porzingis said he expects Anthony to bounce back. “I don’t think he’s had two rea lly bad games in a row,” he said. “We all know he’s frustrated and we’re frustrated, but he’s not showing it. I think he’s doing a great job of showing how everybody needs to be. He’s being a great leader right now.”
A leader, Porzingis said, they’re going to need in order to win a championship. Yes, a championship, which the Knicks haven’t won since 1973.
“I believe all of this that we’re going through and me not playing well, having ups and downs and the team now not playing well, it’s all a big challenge to prepare us for something bigger in the future,” Porzingis said. “We’ve just got to push through this. This is going to make us stronger mentally so that when we get to where we can actually be a championship team, we’re ready for it. That’s what I believe in.”
Rambis: We’re not jelling. Kurt Rambis said the Knicks are having trouble working together, but he hopes he can help solve the problem with more intrasquad scrimmages.
He said they have the talent to win, “but talent is not enough” without unity. “Our coaches are pretty good passers; it’s our players that need to work on their passing.”