After an impressive rookie season with the Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis has his sights set higher. New York acquired some big names during the offseason and the Latvian big man thinks they can make the playoffs.
From ESPN.com’s Ian Begley:
“Obviously, the No. 1 goal is the playoffs this year,” he said Saturday at a camp he hosted for children in Westchester, New York. “That’s where my head is at. I can’t be thinking nothing past that. Right now it’s the playoffs.”
The Knicks traded for Derrick Rose in June and signed Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings in free agency, and Carmelo Anthony is coming off a gold-medal performance with Team USA at the Olympics. If everybody stays healthy, the Knicks could be in contention for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
Porzingis has been working out with his new teammates and praised Rose (who is set to face trial in a civil sexual assault lawsuit on October 4).
“How explosive he is and everything, he’s still got it,” said Porzingis, who weighs between 238-240 pounds entering training camp. “He’s still Derrick Rose. And so it will be exciting to play with him. He draws so much attention when he’s driving he’s so dangerous that I’m going to be wide open and that’s what I’m looking forward to. He’s going to be creating for me and other teammates.”
The Knicks are one of the toughest teams in the league to get a handle on. They have a lot of talent, but it’s an open question how well they will mesh together, and it’s up to new coach Jeff Hornacek to make the pieces fit.