Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis is looking to return on Thursday against Boston, Tim Hardaway Jr. gets evaluated, and Enes Kanter is facing legal trouble in his home country. 

As the New York Knicks get set to host the Boston Celtics at Maddison Square Garden on Thursday night, Kristaps Porzingis, who missed the last two games with a sore left knee, wants to help take down the best team in the Eastern Conference.

The 7-foot-3 Latvian told Al Iannazzone of Newsday Sports that he wants to play and he’s excited for the challenge, especially since Boston took down his team 110-89 back on Oct. 24.

The Knicks were able to pick up a victory over Carmelo Anthony and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday without Porzingis, but they weren’t so lucky in Charlotte on Monday, as they were completely outmatched by the Charlotte Hornets and they desperately missed the scoring that Porzingis can provide.

Michael Beasley filled in admirably for Porzingis at times this season. He has scored 30 points in two games that Porzingis was sidelined, but Monday’s loss to the Hornets was a clear indication that this team isn’t going anywhere without their biggest star.

Hardaway Timetable

Much like Porzingis, the Knicks’ second-leading scorer has also missed significant time this season. Tim Hardaway, Jr. has been out for the last 16 days with an injury to his lower left leg and per ESPN’s Ian Begley, Hardaway isn’t set to return to action until at least late next week. This means that Hardaway will be missing the Christmas day showdown with the Philadelphia 76ers.

New York has received solid production out of other contributors since Hardaway went down. Courtney Lee is noticeably more aggressive on offense and looking for his shot whenever he can while Ron Baker has seen an uptick in minutes and brings an energy and defensive mindset that can’t go unnoticed.

 

Remaining Focused: 

Knicks’ center Enes Kanter is in legal trouble in his home country of Turkey. According to ESPN, Kanter is facing a four-year prison sentence for Tweets directed at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Kanter told Ian Begley that all he is “focused on right now, just make the playoffs and drive (the Turkish president) crazy.”

 



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