Kristaps Porzingis said he was feeling fatigued after playing the second game of a back-to-back on the road Wednesday.
“I’m tired. I’m so tired right now,” he said after the Knicks’ loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night. “I have one day now to rest my legs and then get back and play better and have more energy and also try and bring the team’s energy up.”
Porzingis had 16 points on 5-for-13 shooting in the loss to the Wizards, with just two points in the second half. He said that feeling tired in the second game of a back-to-back wasn’t out of the ordinary and he expected to regain his energy on Thursday as the Knicks prepare for another road game Friday in Miami.
“It’s normal,” he said. “It’s [the] up and down [of the season]. Get some rest, enjoy nice Miami weather and go try and win the Miami game.”
Wednesday’s loss was the Knicks’ seventh in their past nine games. They fell to 3-13 on the road and play 12 of their next 14 away from Madison Square Garden.
Porzingis acknowledged the challenge of the schedule after the Wizards game.
“We’re in a tough stretch,” said Porzingis, who is shooting 36 percent from the floor in that nine-game stretch. “The mental part doesn’t help at all. When it’s mentally tough, you just don’t have it in you.”
Porzingis and the Knicks seem to be affected by the absence of starting shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who has been out for a month with a stress injury in his left leg. Porzingis is shooting 40 percent in 13 games without the starting shooting guard. He was shooting 47 percent from the floor (and 40 percent from beyond the arc) before Hardaway’s injury.
“Having Tim out doesn’t make stuff easier,” Porzingis said. “Hopefully Tim can be back with us soon and kind of take a little bit of pressure and attention off of myself and other guys.”
Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek has said that the expectations surrounding the 22-year-old Porzingis may have been too high after his blistering stretch early in the season. He set a franchise record for points over the first 10 games of the season (300) while shooting 51 percent from the floor.
“Sometimes it’s hard to judge a guy in the first 10 games when he’s really hot,” Hornacek said. “We all wanted it to be the normal, but he’s 22, trying to be in that role. He’s going to have great nights, going to have rough nights. Some nights the hoop looks really big, sometimes you can barely fit the ball in there.”
Porzingis acknowledged on Wednesday that the wear and tear on his body may be affecting his shooting. He’s missed six games with various injuries, including an ankle sprain and knee ailment.
“Little bumps and bruises and things like that that you play through affects [you] a little bit,” he said. “Once I’m playing, I want to delete that completely out of my head and not think about it. As you go forward, more and more stuff adding, but it’s normal, it’s nothing to keep complaining about. We just have to keep pushing forward, get as much rest as I can and try to be as fresh as I can for every game.”