Kristaps Porzingis Illness: Updates on Knicks Star's Status and Return

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 8, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis was absent against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday as a result of an unidentified illness, per's Ian Begley. However, he has been cleared to return to the lineup.

Continue for updates.

Porzingis to Return vs. Warriors

Tuesday, March 15

Porzingis said he will play on Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors, per Begley.

Porzingis Remains Highlight of Dismal Knicks Season

Porzingis has been one of the few bright spots in a dreadful season for the Knicks. According to, his 18.19 player efficiency rating is the third-highest in the NBA among rookies, and he's averaging 14.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. He's also seemingly leading the league in thunderous putback dunks:

New York has a 0.5 net rating per 100 possessions when Porzingis is on the court, per Cleanthony Early is the only other player to earn that distinction, and he has played just 34 minutes this year. In addition, the Knicks have a minus-5.9 net rating when Porzingis is off the floor. That mark trails only the team's minus-6.2 rating when Carmelo Anthony is on the bench.

The team's draft history is littered with numerous disappointments—in the years when the Knicks have had first-round picks—but the 20-year-old Latvian is an unqualified success. He almost single-handedly gives fans optimism about the overall direction of the organization.

While the Knicks are all but out of the Eastern Conference playoff race, Porzingis' return is a welcome sight.