Mavs coach Rick Carlisle offers advice to Kristaps Porzingis before return to MSG
Dallas Mavericks young big man Kristaps Porzingis will face the last test against his former team rather quickly into this season, now tasked with getting a win on the road against the New York Knicks in his return to Madison Square Garden.
Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle is cognizant of the pressure-cooker environment Porzingis could face in MSG, so he gave his new star forward some bits of advice to keep him level-headed before Thursday’s showdown:
“What I said to him before the first New York game was lose yourself in the team, don’t get distracted by who we’re playing and just do the things that you do so well within the system that we run,” said Carlisle, according to Dwain Price of Mavs.com. “He did that in the first game and he had a very good all-around game – we just didn’t win.
“My advice this time around is really the same. We’ve got to make this about our team being in New York and competing and trying to win a game, not about these other kinds of distractions which is the reason all you guys are here.”
Porzingis had a strong first outing upon welcoming his former team at the American Airlines Center, dropping 28 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks in a losing effort. The 7-foot-3 unicorn is also coming off a 1-of-11 shooting night in a loss against the Boston Celtics that saw him hit the bench for the entire fourth quarter in his last outing, so he’s likely looking to bounce back in a major way against the team that traded him.
Of course, whatever it takes to get a win is more important than any gaudy stat line, though getting both would be the ideal for Kristaps Porzingis.