The Knicks have a talented young center prospect in Mitchell Robinson, and a new-addition journeyman veteran center in Nerlens Noel. In the team’s first preseason game, a win over the Pistons, Noel started, though his time on the court was just three minutes more than Mitchell’s. Here’s the New York Daily News with an early preseason look at it:
There’s redundancy with the Knicks two centers and Mitchell Robinson noticed it when his team signed Nerlens Noel.
“It was just like, ‘Oh well, I mean, now we’ve got like two players who do the same thing,” Robinson said. “Got to live with it, keep working.”
Despite the hype over Robinson and the expectation of a big leap in Year 3, the 22-year-old was again a reserve in the preseason opener Thursday. Noel, 26, started and was highly effective, scoring 10 points with eight boards on 5-of-7 shooting in 25 minutes.
Robinson had just two points and four fouls in 22 minutes, but also collected four steals and two blocks. He denied that his pregame “No loyalty” Instagram post was about being benched.
And the New York Post:
After all, the center tag team duo of Noel-Robinson was a gem defensively in Friday’s preseason-opening 90-84 victory with the tall duo combining for 15 rebounds and four blocks. Robinson also had four steals.
“It is what it is,” Robinson said Sunday after the Knicks’ morning shootaround in Detroit. “I’m going to go out there and play hard. I really don’t mind starting or don’t mind not starting. I don’t have hurt feelings. I’m just going to go out there and just be the best me.”
When pressed on how much he cares about it, Robinson stated, “Not really. As long as I can go out there and help my teammates I really don’t care if I start or not. It’s early. I’m not going to sit down and pout about it. I’m not going to make a problem or whatever. As long as I get to play, I’m fine with that.”