Knicks' Porzingis: 'I believe that we are a playoff team'

Kristaps Porzingis is ready to carry the New York Knicks back to the promised land.

The 7-foot-3 power forward has led the Knicks to a 7-6 mark - good for sixth in the Eastern Conference - and though it's still early in the campaign, he believes his squad is for real.

"I'm happy with the way that we're competing and I believe that we are a playoff team," he said Tuesday on "The Michael Kay Show."

The Knicks boast the eighth-ranked offence thanks to their efficient scoring, ball movement, and work on the offensive glass. But it's their improvement at the other end that has Porzingis giddy.

The Unicorn reiterated his delight in the fact his club now competes at the defensive end for the whole 48 minutes, which has helped New York win some games where it struggled offensively.

"We're together as a team. I believe that we have the fundamentals offensively and defensively to keep going and to keep growing."

Related: Porzingis: Streak 'means nothing' if Knicks don't make playoffs

While the progress has been encouraging, the 22-year-old Latvian isn't getting carried away. He acknowledged his team is young and still learning, adjusting, and growing. His comments come a day after the Knicks squandered a 23-point lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers, yielding 43 points in the final frame.

Porzingis reviewed the game tape the following morning, and was pleased to find that inexperience befell the Knickerbockers rather than a lack of effort. He chalked up the performance as a "good learning experience" for him.

Zinger's averaging 29.5 points (third in the NBA) to go along with 7.3 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, and 1.1 assists per contest for the Knicks, who last made the playoffs in 2013.

Related: Even in loss, Ntilikina and Porzingis look like winning combo

The 104-101 defeat wasn't short on drama, with Frank Ntilikina and Enes Kanter getting into a heated confrontation with LeBron James. Porzingis is proud of his teammates for standing up to the international superstar.

"It just showed that we are a team," he said.

James took a parting shot at the Knicks, posting Tuesday a photo in which he anoints himself the king of New York. Asked about it, Porzingis said: "I think the city disagrees."

Words fit for a king - the real one in Gotham, according to Kanter, and perhaps the one who'll help end the club's postseason drought.

Knicks' Porzingis: 'I believe that we are a playoff team'
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