Should the Knicks be worried about Porzingis?

Kristaps Porzingis, who recently returned from an Achilles injury, had one of his worst games of the season during Monday night's win against the Pacers.

Porzingis scored eight points on 3-of-11 shooting and added four rebounds before fouling out after playing just 25 minutes.

"The first quarter was the worst quarter I've ever had, I think,'' Porzingis said after the game, according to Marc Berman of the NY Post.

Porzingis refused to blame his recent injury for his struggles.

"No soreness,'' Porzingis said. "When I'm playing, I'm not really thinking about it. My shot was just flat. I have to use more of my legs. It's normal, just came back from being out for a few games."

The 21-year-old is averaging 18.9 points and 7.1 rebounds in 39 games this season, but hasn't eclipsed the 20-point mark since Jan. 6.

Keith Schlosser, SNY.TV Twitter | Archive

The Knicks were smart to exercise patience with Porzingis' achilles injury, giving him just over a week off between game action. And It's taking him longer than many would like or expect to get back into the swing of things.

Porzingis is very self-aware: his jumper is flat and it's caused him to be ice cold from downtown. His long-range prowess is part of what makes him so special and he hasn't been able to cash in as of late.

Interestingly enough, his shooting slump began before he sat out due to injury for the second set of games in a month. Porzingis missed three games as December concluded and January began. Shortly after, the Knicks' tailspin really began. This put more pressure on him to return prematurely. In his last five appearances (before and after his most recent absence), Porzingis is shooting just 16 percent from beyond the arc. That's not very unicorn-like.

Nevertheless, there's a clear cut reason for this. Prior to sitting out the second time, Porzingis was playing through the pain. Now that he's taken the appropriate time off, it'll take a while for him to find his rhythm again. Unfortunately, it doesn't help that New York's struggles have only continued and there's even more pressure to compete before they need to re-evaluate the season's purpose.

Time is what Porzingis needs at this point. And this isn't something that is on the Knicks' side as they attempt to justify spending big last summer and making a competitive push.

Things have failed to come together, but the burden shouldn't be on Porzingis. This has no bearing on his long-term future as the team's centerpiece.

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