Knicks F Kristaps Porzingis pulled back on his statement that he was "so tired" following Wednesday's contest against the Wizards, saying he feels fine now.
Porzingis admitted he felt fatigued after the loss to Washington, where he only tallied two points in the second half. The Knicks were coming off a tough loss to the Spurs the night before, and the wear and tear may have gotten to the team's star.
Nonetheless, Porzingis says he's ready to take on the Heat after a much-needed day off in Miami. It may not have been the temperature he wished for as it ranged in the 40s during some parts of the day, but it is loads better than all the snow back home in New York.
"I thought it was going to be warmer actually, but it's not bad, not snowy like New York,'' Porzingis told The Post's Marc Berman. "Of course [I feel better]. Every day off helps, especially after a back-to-back that we had. That's what I meant. I was tired after the back-to-back. A day off always helps.''
As for his tired comments, Porzingis jokingly said it was an attempted strategy to catch the Heat off guard.
"All I know is of course after playing a back-to-back, everyone feels tired if you play hard. It does matter to have a day in between. It was a strategy to make the Miami Heat relax a little bit. 'Oh, he's tired.' That's why I did it. I feel good today. Don't tell them."
The Knicks have won only three of their last 10 games, and with Porzingis struggling, many are speculating it was too early to deem him as a formidable franchise player. However, Porzingis isn't making any excuses for his recent level of play.
"It's physically harder [but] that's something I was preparing myself for," he said. "It's not something, all of a sudden it hit me and now I have to prepare myself for it. I have to be ready for it if I want to be the guy. There can't be any excuses with so many minutes I'm playing."
Being a franchise player comes with the desire to be an All-Star, and Porzingis wants that more than anything. He currently sits behind Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, and Joel Embiid in the East's frontcourt fan voting.
"It's a dream of mine to be an All-Star since I got to the NBA," Porzingis said. "That's something I want to achieve individually, also realizing that's not how you want to be remembered as only a good individual player. A lot that will come with winning. If we win, we're all going to look good."
For now, Porzingis will have to focus on getting the Knicks out of their current rut before thinking about All-Star weekend. If tiredness is an issue, head coach Jeff Hornacek mentioned giving Porzingis shorter minute stints, and making sure he's fueled up for the fourth quarter.