|Knicks hope Porzingis can get on track vs. Clippers|
NEW YORK -- Just one-for-November, the Los Angeles Clippers head to Madison Square Garden on Monday night for a showdown with the recently inconsistent New York Knicks.
The source of New York's up-and-down play over the last two weeks: leading scorer Kristaps Porzingis.
After shooting 49 of 82 (58.8 percent) over the previous four games, all Knicks wins, Porzingis is since just 18 of 53 (34 percent). On Friday in a 107-84 loss at Toronto, New York's biggest defeat of the season, Porzingis had just 13 points on 3-of-13 shooting.
The big man, it seems, is not perfect.
"Didn't Aaron Judge kind of just go through this?" Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek joked with reporters after practice Sunday. "So relax, people, relax, people. He'll be all right, just like Aaron Judge."
Unfortunately for the Knicks, they didn't offer much support of Porzingis against the Raptors. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored just 13 points and Enes Kanter had 12.
Some are wondering if Porzingis' recent issues are the result of a sore elbow, which caused him to miss one game this season and has bothered him in the past.
Porzingis would not buy into that notion on Sunday.
"I've got to fix all the little details," Porzingis said. "Look at the film, look at my shots and not overthink about it. Sometimes there are good shots, but it's just in and out. The elbow is not bothering me at all. I don't want to blame it on the elbow. Get some rest and not overthink about those kinds of things."
The Clippers, losers of eight consecutive games and 10 of 11, are also getting production out of their best player, power forward Blake Griffin, but with Chris Paul jettisoned to Houston, they have no one to run the show.
The starting backcourt of Austin Rivers and Patrick Beverley, who is expected to return on Monday after missing five games with a sore right knee, are averaging just a combined 25.7 points and 5.6 assists. Sixth man Lou Williams is contributing 17.7 points per game. Danilo Gallinari also remains out for the Clippers, who started the season 4-0 but have won just once since.
"Obviously we get Pat back next game, which is going to help," Rivers said. "It gets us another guard in there."
The increased workload doesn't appear to be fitting Griffin much, either. Griffin's scoring average is up 1.2 points per game to 22.8, but his field-goal shooting has fallen from 49.3 percent to 41.9 percent.
"It's just going to be the same answer as it was before," Williams said. "Got injuries, guys are down, just keep fighting."
The Knicks are counting on a return to form by Porzingis, who thrived during a recent 6-1 stretch for New York. Porzingis reeled off two career highs in scoring (38 and 40 points) during the run, in which he averaged better than 37 points per game. The Knicks are also hoping to see some improved rebounding numbers out of their young star, who is averaging a career-worst 7.1 boards, though he has improved his shot-blocking to 2.3 per game.