Knicks Playoffs Hopes Thwart As Center Kristaps Porzingis Tears ACL

Kristaps Porzingis Knicks

Not only did they lose to the visiting Milwaukee Bucks, but they also saw their best player, Kristaps Porzingis, go down with a torn ACL, as well as Tim Hardaway Jr. forced to leave the game early with an injured shin. Those plans were derailed when the unquestioned leader of the New York Knicks crashed to the court Tuesday night with a torn ACL that will sideline him the rest of this season and possibly a good deal of the next. "(He's) more than a basketball player, he's my brother. It's worth taking a flier on either of them - Beasley first - as we wait to see how New York's frontcourt rotation will shake out sans Porzingis and/or following the trade deadline.

Porzingis had at least given NY reason to entertain playoff hopes in a season that started days after Carmelo Anthony was traded to Oklahoma City.

Ultimately, Porzingis' injury should alter the Knicks' thinking over the final two months of the season. In all, he has missed seven games this season and 33 over the course of his first 2½ seasons in the National Basketball Association.

"Every person's a little different in how they come back and respond", Perry said.

NY (23-32) entered play Tuesday remaining hopeful of making a playoff run, though missing Porzingis for extended time would certainly dampen those hopes.

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The team made the announcement on its Twitter account Wednesday.

In his third season, the 7-foot-3 Porzingis averaged 22.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and a league-high of 2.4 blocks. The club additionally hopes to trade exiled center Joakim Noah before Thursday afternoon's deadline. "Mills and Perry had privately stressed their plan to be patient and grow this team organically around Porzingis and Ntilikina prior to Porzingis" injury; they can not deviate from that plan now.

In 2019, when the Knicks were set to have significant cap space in a summer when several stars will hit the open market, the lure of playing with Porzingis as he entered his prime was going to be their strongest selling point.

The chances of the Knicks making the playoffs already were slim, and now they appear to be microscopic without their best player. That should mean more minutes for rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina and guard Trey Burke. That's a huge blow to the Knicks, who remain in the hunt for a playoff spot despite a 23-32 record.

"No, we're not looking to make any changes", Perry said.

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