Kristaps Porzingis admits he is starting to feel fatigued after the Knicks' bad 121-103 loss to the Wizards on the road Wednesday night.
The Knicks were put in a tough situation, having to travel to Washington D.C. a day after playing a tough game against the Spurs at home. In turn, tired blue and orange jerseys were seen throughout the night, and Porzingis couldn't make any excuses.
"I'm tired, I'm tired, I'm so tired right now," he told The Post's Marc Berman. "I have one day to rest my legs and get back and play better and have more energy and try to bring the team's energy up. We're in a tough stretch. The mental part doesn't help at all. When it's mentally tough you don't have it in you."
Porzingis, who finished with 16 points in the contest (14 came in the first half), was worn down by Gregg Popovich's Spurs Tuesday night. He confessed the team was making sure to put a body on him at all times, which naturally wore him down.
"They were all focused [on] what I was doing," Porzingis said. "Wherever I went, there was contact, boom, boom, bumping me."
It also doesn't help that Porzingis' right-hand man, Tim Hardaway Jr., is still battling a stress injury in his leg. With Hardaway out for a month now, Porzingis hasn't had his go-to option to ease the pressure off himself.
"Obviously having Tim out doesn't make it easier," Porzingis said. "Hopefully Tim will be back with us soon and take some of that pressure off me and other guys."
Hardaway could be cleared to run this Saturday in Dallas as well as be a limited participant in practice.
In the meantime, head coach Jeff Hornacek wants to figure out a way to take the load off of Porzingis' back from time-to-time, which may include working plays around other players so he can crash the offensive boards, and potentially make a play on that end. Hornacek also believes the fans need to ease off Porzingis as he hasn't been performing quite like the MVP-calibur month he put together to start the season.
"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, once again, had a bad shooting night as he went 5-for-13 from the field. Teams have figured out smaller defenders on Porzingis has been disrupting him of late, and the Wizards managed to stymie his performance. Hornacek believes getting the ball away from Porzingis on the outside every now and then could free him up to make a play on the glass.
"They'll switch a small guy off and we try to throw it to him and they get into his knees and come from the weak side on his dribble,'' Hornacek said. "Maybe we shouldn't settle for looking for him there, swing it to the other side and let the play happen. If they switch, maybe [Porzingis] can get an offensive rebound and tip in.''
No matter how things play out, Porzingis and the rest of the Knicks need to get some rest before they are physically and mentally prepared to take on the Heat this Friday.