Knicks lose Mitchell Robinson to major foot injury

The Knicks are having a solid season, and must continue without the services of talented center Mitchell Robinson, who is out after undergoing surgery on his recently broken right foot. Via New York Newsday:

The Knicks headed off to Minnesota Tuesday afternoon, still without any additional help as team president Leon Rose and his front office staff searched for assistance to fill the hole left by Mitchell Robinson’s second surgery in a six-week stretch.

But the season doesn’t wait for the search to conclude as the Knicks lost to the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden Monday and there is no break for the Knicks who have three more games in the next four days. So they must make do with what they have and while that means having Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson at center, the Knicks’ bigger need is for the pieces they have to perform at an optimal level.

And no one is more important to that than the player who has carried them through much of this season — Julius Randle.

While the Knicks have shown that they can survive without Robinson, managing a 9-6 record when he was sidelined with a fractured right hand. But now they are without him likely for the remainder of the regular season at best and to continue their playoff push need Randle to be at his best. But Randle wasn’t Monday, limited as he returned to action after sitting out the previous game with a right thigh contusion.

Center Mitchell Robinson set to return for Knicks

The Knicks are set to welcome center Mitchell Robinson back to action. Via the New York Daily News:

The Knicks center, who has missed 15 straight games with a broken hand, was cleared to play ahead of Sunday against the Sixers at the Garden. Robinson was officially listed as questionable because the team wanted to see how he responded to Saturday’s afternoon practice, but then the center tweeted, “I feel toooooo gooooodddd bro I’m ready.”

Coach Tom Thibodeau said the plan is to eventually integrate Robinson back into the starting lineup, even though Nerlens Noel has performed well in his extended absence.

The Knicks are 21-21 this season, which ties them with the Hornets for the 6th best record in the Eastern conference.

Their leading scorers so far in 2020-21 are Julius Randle at 22.9 points per game, and RJ Barrett at 17.2 ppg.

Early look at Knicks center rotation of Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel

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.”

Former Knicks coach says team needs a point guard who can shoot from deep

Who better to share some Knicks analysis than their recent former head coach?

Here’s the New York Post reporting the words of David Fizdale:

David Fizdale said he believes the Knicks need a point guard who can shoot from deep to help center Mitchell Robinson’s growth…

Point guards Frank Ntilikina (32 percent), Dennis Smith Jr. (29.6 percent) and Elfrid Payton (20.3 percent) are each shooting erratically from 3.

“Just looking at the roster where they’re at — I love Elfrid, Frank and Dennis Smith Jr. — but all of them have something in common in that they’re not consistent 3-point shooters coming off the pick-and-roll,” the former Knicks coach told ESPN Radio. “And if you have a super talent like Mitchell — and I think Mitchell can end up being one of the best centers over the next 10 years — you have to have a guy coming off that pick and if you have to fight over that pick-and-roll. … If you do that, all of a sudden Mitchell Robinson looks totally different. And his production goes up big time.”

The current NBA season is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But through games played so far, the Knicks are 21-45, which places them 12th in the Eastern conference. They’re 27th in the league in three-point shooting percentage. Which makes it tough to open things up near the basket.

Mitchell Robinson back to bench for Knicks

The Knicks season thus far has focused on rookie development, and one of the key guys to watch is center Mitchell Robinson. Here’s the New York Post with the latest on him:

Mitchell Robinson had his taste of starting and is fine with Knicks coach David Fizdale’s decision to bring him off the bench. The company line was to keep the 20-year-old project out of severe foul trouble.

In the Knicks’ stunning 117-109 win at Boston on Wednesday, Robinson played just 16 minutes but registered six blocks and was 4 for 4 from the field. It was his second straight game coming off the bench for newly promoted center Enes Kanter.

“As you seen, I didn’t get into foul trouble until late in the game,’’ Robinson said. “If I started, I would’ve gotten in trouble and would’ve sat almost the whole game. My teammates need me to come in and challenge shots.’’

For the season, Robinson is averaging 5.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and a very impressive 2.0 blocks in 18.1 minutes per game.

The Knicks play host to the Pelicans tonight.

Knicks rookie Mitchell Robinson blocks 9 shots in one game

The Knicks are rebuilding, awaiting eventual return of Kristaps Porzingis, and mostly relying on very young players to compete. There will be some wins, but plenty of losses, and hopefully positive signs from their youth along the way. And although the Magic won a decisive victory against the Knicks yesterday, center Mitchell Robinson put on a block party. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Knicks rookie center Mitchell Robinson was drafted 30 slots behind Orlando’s rookie Mo Bamba, but only one of them made the history books Sunday at the Garden.

Robinson set a new Knicks rookie record for blocks with nine as the lone home-team standout in Sunday’s 115-89 shellacking by Orlando. Robinson, who had a handful of rejections at the perimeter, broke the record shared previously by Kristaps Porzingis and Lonnie Shelton, who both had seven.

“I can thank coach,” Robinson said of David Fizdale. “He puts me in position to get those blocks. He was like drop back, don’t worry about my guy. If you see him going full speed at the rim just go get him and meet him at the rim.”

Robinson was one off the Knicks franchise record for blocks — which he said he believes he will break one day.

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Knicks sign rookie Mitchell Robinson

The Knicks have signed rookie center Mitchell Robinson to a multi-year contract.

Per the New York Post, “according to a source, the deal is for three years at $4.8 million, but the third year is not fully guaranteed. The package also includes a fourth-year team option. The deal averages roughly $1.6 million per year, which is how much it would count against the salary cap for the key free agency of summer 2019.”

Robinson, 20, was selected in the second round with the 36th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The 7-0, 225-pound center was named to the 2017 McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand All-American teams. Robinson averaged 25.7 points, 12.6 rebounds and 7.1 blocks as a senior at Chalmette High School in Louisiana.

Robinson is currently participating with the team’s entry in the Las Vegas Summer League.