NEW ORLEANS Kristaps Porzingis admits hes had a tough time fighting frustration on the court with not getting a lot of calls. The 7-foot-3 Latvian said hes done his best not to lash out at referees but said, its getting to me a bit.
After fouling out in San Antonio in the final minutes Thursday, Porzingis made a remark to one of the referees as he departed. He joked that it was something in Latvian akin to good game.
After the Spurs game, Porzingis, for the second time this season, pointed out defenders are getting way with slaps at his arms and elbow as he launches for a shot, saying hes super mad it is effecting his accuracy.
The slump has dropped his shooting percentage to 44.4 percent, but he is trying to not let the officiating affect his concentration. Not only is he shooting 34.4 percent in his last five games but just 40.2 percent in the last 10.
The only thing is Im getting upset and I never want be the guy yelling at the refs, Porzingis said. But these games I want to win so bad and all those details matter and effects the game. I always try to stay calm during the game but its hard because you want to do good for your team. Im trying not to think about it when Im playing, but during the game the adrenaline and emotions, its getting to me a bit.
The trick, Porzingis says, in not picking up technical fouls is sprinting back on defense with vigor after a perceived non-call.
When something like that happens, I look at the ref, Porzingis said. If I say something I try to delete it and sprint back. When Im sprinting back Im already not thinking about it. Thats how I cut it off at that moment.
If theres never going to be a call, Porzingis said hed prefer if he could avoid contact. He said he still needs to be more decisive in making moves quicker, getting up a little higher so they cant reach my arms at all.
Its tough theres so much contact and guys getting into me, said Porzingis, who is averaging 24.6 points per game as the Knicks face the Pelicans on Saturday. Sometimes Im able to make shots through that, sometimes not. When I miss two, three in a row, it builds up.
Jeff Hornacek said Tim Hardaway Jr. possibly will play a G League game when the time is right during his rehab. He also revealed Hardaway Jr. could be on a minutes restriction in the first few games. He could be back in the middle of January at earliest.