LOS ANGELES — Kristaps Porzingis got off to an All-Star-like start to the season, but has cooled off offensively the past five games.
His legs look tired on his jump shot, and his right knee actually is in wrapping as he deals with a minor ailment.
“He’s got a little catch on his knee in the muscle,’’ Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. “Sometimes it gets tight on him.’’
Hornacek said Porzingis had something similar last season. Good-naturedly, Porzingis was reluctant to discuss the issue.
“Little tight when warming up,’’ Porzingis said. “Don’t worry about it, guys.”
His shooting percentage, however, is worrisome across the past five games. He is shooting 25-of-79, or 31.6 percent, including a 1-of-10 start in Sacramento before he rallied late to finish with 17 points and 10 rebounds. He finished 6-of-19 from the field.
”I had a coach come up to me at halftime and say relax and have fun out there,’’ Porzingis said. “That’s what I tried to do.
“Obviously I don’t know how to get out of this. I’ve been doing what I’ve done my whole career — work.
“Working and shooting and staying confident. That’s what I’m trying to do. Teammates are telling me to shoot when I’m open. I have to keep doing it. I have to relax a bit and shots will start to fall.”
Hornacek said Porzingis could be “pressing.”
“Sometimes when you’re young, shots come and go, but he’s doing a lot of great things for us — blocking shots, having an effect on the inside,’’ Hornacek said.
There are so many ways Porzingis is capable of scoring that sometimes he has found himself unsure of whether to drive or shoot during this cold stretch.
“I’m a little out of rhythm,’’ Porzingis said. “Sometimes I drive, but that’s when you need to take a shot.”
Knicks point guard Derrick Rose (back spasms) said he is a go Sunday versus the Lakers after going through practice. Rose credited the Knicks’ medical staff.
“It’s all about earning your money — this is the most information I’ve gotten in my career about my body and how I need to maintain. I feel good. I feel it’s a go. I let the areas bothering me calm down.’’
Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell, selected over Porzingis in the 2015 draft, may make his return from a knee injury.