If there is a game that Kristaps Porzingis needs to redeem himself after an awful night, it should be against his former team at the Madison Square Garden as the Dallas Mavericks face the New York Knicks tonight.

In their 116-106 loss in Boston, coach Rick Carlisle did not field Porzingis during crunch time and struggled heavily being guarded by smaller defenders. He finished the game with four points on 1-of-11 shooting, five boards, a steal, and a block in 20 minutes. He was also in foul trouble that did not let him find his rhythm.

Porzingis pointed out that he is still trying to get the feel of the game, per reports from Sports Illustrated. “I played a lot of pickup in the off-season and I was trying to find my rhythm and then all the little details about the game, the contact, where the contact is going to come and game feel, decision making, and the speed are different in the game. That's the thing that I have to still keep getting used to,” added the Latvian star.

Once considered as the franchise’s cornerstone following Carmelo Anthony’s departure, the 24-year old big man injured his ACL in February 2018 that took him away not just to finish the season strong but his participation in his first-ever all-star appearance. Despite getting hurt, he still produced career-high averages of 22.7 points and 2.4 blocks per game in his 48 games with New York.

Bleacher Report posted after the teams’ first meeting in Dallas that the 7-foot-3 forward don’t have an idea how would it feel. “Probably a lot of noise. I don’t know if it’s going to be positive or negative. But it’s going to be a lot of emotion, I think from the fans and for me also, coming back to New York. It's going to be interesting,” he followed up.

Whether the noises that he will be hearing are cheers or the boos the same to what swarmed him during the 2015 draft night by the Knicks fans, it will be an interesting game to watch as this game could relive the memory of “The Unicorn” carrying the Knicks just seasons ago.

Porzingis holds averages of 18.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, and 1.7 assists for the 6-4 Dallas Mavericks. Also having their return to The Garden are Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Courtney Lee.
 

kristaps-porzingis Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks is welcomed back after tearing his ACL previously in the season prior to taking on the Dallas Mavericks during their game at Madison Square Garden on March 13, 2018 in New York City. Getty Images/Abbie Parr