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Kristaps Porzingis Tears ACL

The Knicks In Wake Of The Kristaps Porzingis Injury (20 Minute Mini-Pod)

Kristaps Porzingis Tears ACL And Will Be Out For The Rest Of The Season And Likely Into 2018-19

The 2017-2018 season started off extremely bright for what became a scrappy New York Knicks team. In his first chance to be the #1 scoring option Kristaps Porzingis came out of the gates on fire amassing eight 30+ point games by mid-November. Around Christmas time the Knicks had fought to a 17-14 record and fans at the Garden had dreams of the playoffs dancing in their heads.

But then as has become customary the wheels began to fall off around the end of December and into the new year. Since defeating the Celtics on December 21st the have gone 6-18 and tumbled to five games back of 8th place in the Eastern Conference. Over that time they have dealt with a lengthy injury to Tim Hardaway Jr., a couple nagging injuries to Porzingis, declining play from rookie Frank Ntilikina, a Joakim Noah falling out, and a general sense of dread as another season appeared to be slipping away.

But there was still a slight scent of hope in the air. The type of basketball hope that can only come from truly believing that even though things look bad right now the future is bright because we have “The Guy”. We have the cornerstone, the foundational piece, the stud that you need to truly compete for an NBA title. We had him and he was 7 foot 3 inches of Latvian thunder and no matter what other turmoil the Knicks were currently embroiled in we knew that he was great.

But then in an instant hope left Garden, and was replaced by dread.

In the immediate aftermath the MSG Network cameras gave us this shot of the Knicks brass, Steve Mills and Scott Perry, and I’m confident in that moment they were feeling identical emotions to what we were feeling as fans.

The remainder of that game, which the Knicks did lose, became meaningless and we waited, scarcely breathing, for the news that we already knew in our souls was coming. Then right around 11:00 PM our nightmare became reality.

With that tweet hope disintegrated and the long road to recovery begins. Little more than a week ago KP himself spoke out about his hopes that the team would look into bringing in some additional help to facilitate a playoff run this season. But this injury certainly changes any plans management had to adhere to that request. With less that 48 hours to the trade deadline the Knicks now have only one option in the wake of this injury and that is to strip this team of any ancillary parts and plan for the future. In a perfect world Courtney Lee, Kyle O’Quinn, and Michael Beasley would all be moved for picks or young prospects and coach Jeff Hornacek will be able to use the rest of the season to all our young guys to go out and play, learn, and most of all, lose.

With 26 games remaining on the schedule the Knicks sit at 23-32, good for the 10th worst record in the league. However only 5 games separate them and the Sacramento Kings who have the 3rd worst record in the league. With Porzingis injured, Tim Hardaway Jr. appearing to get nicked up himself, and a deadline firesale all but assured the Knicks should have no problem losing the rest of the way. They are going to have to be truly awful to break into the top 3 but without their unicorn it seems all to doable.

The recovery time for a torn ACL generally winds up being a full calendar year which would see Porzingis return sometime around the All-Star break in 2019. But playing that much of next season without him will likely have the Knicks in a position where there is no sense in rushing back their 22 year cornerstone to play meaningless February games. We as fans need to start preparing ourselves for what will essentially be a two year period of basketball hibernation. We won’t technically be dead but we also won’t quite be alive. When all is said and done we should be heading into the 2019-2020 season with a healthy Porzingis, a more seasoned Frank Ntilikina, and two more yet to be drafted lottery picks. So maybe that’s some kind of hope.

Until then. . .

About Anthony

Long Island born but now I live in the South. Write about the Yankees, Knicks, and sometimes tv. Razor Ramon follows me on Twitter, so you probably should too. (@De_Italiano)

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