DALLAS - At first glance, it seems Marcus Morris might've been edging toward some bold prediction regarding his New York Knicks plan to shut down Kristaps Porzingis in tonight's meeting in Dallas.
But in truth, Morris' remarks are simple, respectful, and even maybe evan a little hopeful.
“Stand under him, stand next to him, push him, lean on him a little bit,” said Morris as the Knicks prepare to face their former teammate, now with the Mavs, in a 7:30 tip here at the AAC.
"Stand under him''? "Push him''?
Porzingis is 7-3. Morris is 6-8. "Stand under him''? "Push him''? If KP is right, these aren't Porzingis-stopping techniques; they are survival strategies.
Porzingis has put on 20 pounds of muscle since his rookie year, since sustaining a torn ACL and since last February's blockbuster Knicks-Mavs trade. Yes, even at 7-3, 242, he is on the slender side. (Newsflash: Most NBA players are.)
(Porzingis, Morris said, "is tall, he’s crafty. He’s not really that physical, so we try to return the favor and use something against him. That’s just my approach. I’ve seen it work in the past.''
For Porzingis' part, he's talked openly about wanting to improve greatly from where he's been during 5-2 start. (See story and video here.) With all due respect to Morris and the 1-7 Knicks, tonight seems like an opportunity for him to do so.
Morris smartly sees that, too.
"He’s going to be riled up,'' he said of KP. "Dallas is happy that he’s here. So it’s going to be a good one.”