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Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis: 'I don't really know what a rookie wall is'

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 8:18:00 AM America/Los_Angeles

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis has struggled a bit lately, but he told reporters that he hasn't hit the rookie wall. Poor games just happen sometimes, and his next one could be a great one.

Last Monday against the Dallas Mavericks, Porzingis had one of the best games of his career, scoring 28 points on 13-for-18 shooting. He followed it up by scoring four points and going 2-for-8 against the Utah Jazz last Wednesday. He was better the next night against the Sacramento Kings, but went scoreless on Saturday in Portland.

For most rookies, a stretch like this would be ignored. For Porzingis, that's not going to happen. He's already been built up as the next big thing, and rightfully so -- the 7-foot-3 putback-dunk machine is the future of the Knicks. That doesn't mean he won't have some normal growing pains, however.

Some players will tell you that the rookie wall exists, others will say it does not. It's pretty much impossible, though, to be completely prepared for an 82-game season mentally and physically at 20 years old. Porzingis will look better on some nights than others, but let's give it a few more games before declaring that he's hit the wall.

On Wednesday, New York will host the Minnesota Timberwolves and No. 1 draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns. That would be a good time for Porzingis to turn things around.

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