A three-word declaration from Kristaps Porzingis was all New York Knicks fans needed to hear.
"I'll be ready," Porzingis said to reporters Friday as the Knicks prepared to host the Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon after a one-year absence from the NBA's Christmas Day schedule.
Before his statement, it was a scary moment for Porzingis on Thursday. Early in the fourth quarter of New York's 106-95 win over the Orlando Magic, Porzingis banged knees with Nikola Vucevic and did not return.
After the game, Porzingis described it as "a sharp pain" and also said it had "a little inflammation in the tendon and the bone." Following his declaration on Friday, Porzingis reiterated it a day later by saying he will be ready to play as the inflammation is gone.
Porzingis has yet to miss a game this season and has played 101 out of 111 possible in his career. One of those was not Christmas Day a year ago, when a team coming off a 65-loss season was deemed unworthy of the five-game national television spotlight.
The advantage of the 65-loss season was the Knicks being able to get the fourth overall draft pick in 2015 and use it on Porzingis. He is averaging 19.9 points and 7.3 rebounds this season and the Knicks are 9-6 when Porzingis scores at least 20 points.
"Oh it's going to be huge. At the Garden. The atmosphere was already unbelievable," Porzingis said. "I can't imagine what's going to happen on Sunday. I'm looking forward to it." >> Read more
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press