After fouling out late in the fourth quarter of New York's 120-112 loss to the Nets, Kristaps Porzingis noted "confusion" on both ends of the court as a big factor towards the team's recent struggles.
"There's a lot of confusion," Porzingis told Marc Berman of the New York Post. "A lot of times it's basically one-on-one. Whoever, me, myself, Carmelo [Anthony], Courtney [Lee], we try to make something happen, and that's not how it's supposed to be."
The Knicks fell to 26-41 and a season-worst 15 games under .500 on Sunday, clinching its fourth consecutive non-winning season.
"We've been switching things up because never at any point this season, we played like we wanted to," said Porzingis. "Maybe this will work. So we are looking for stuff. The coaching staff obviously is trying to do the best job they can to give us the information, but we never got it all together."
Porzingis went on to add that it is not just the offense that is struggling, saying, "From top to bottom, everything. A lot of stuff that's not clear. … [The frustration] is pretty high. Concentration was tough when we're not doing the right thing and not working together right now. We need to find solutions the next 16 games."
The 7-foot-3 Latvian is averaging 18.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and two blocks in 32.9 minutes per game this season, while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 37.3 percent from the three-point line.
Yet even with all of his stats improving from his rookie season, the Knicks' struggles this season seem to be taking its toll on the second-year star player.
"It's a tough year, everything. There's a quote about smooth seas. If the seas are smooth, you're never going to become a great sailor," Porzingis said referencing a famous FDR quote. "That's how I always take it. It's a tough year. I'm trying to get better so one day we can make a step forward and win big sometime."
The 21-year old is one of the only untouchables on the Knicks roster. In fact, Porzingis had 10 new teammates this season, and will likely welcome a lot more before the start of next season.
But Porzingis does not worry about the possible roster turnover this offseason, instead focusing on trying to improve and win today.
"Something I don't think about too much," Porzingis said. "I focus on this moment. It's going really bad right now, doing the best I can. Hopefully the situation gets better. Once next season comes, it's a different year, a new life. Right now, we got to keep fighting."
It's interesting that Porzingis is becoming more outspoken than Carmelo Anthony about the Knicks' continued struggles. With Anthony's time in New York potentially limited, it's only fitting Porzingis takes center stage not only on the court, but off of it as well. As this team's centerpiece for the future, he already has his finger on the pulse of the state of things, which is not pretty.
As much confusion as Porzingis says there has been on offense, the argument could be made that the poor effort on defense can cause such frustration. It's difficult to find an offensive flow for a team that always appears to be playing catch up. Creating big holes to climb out of allows doubt to set in early on in given contests.
The Knicks will need to continue evaluating. It's clear this team is falling short of the mark on both ends of the ball. Who is responsible and what can the coaching staff do to spark a change? That remains to be seen.