Knicks center Mitchell Robinson hitting the offensive glass hard this season

Per the NY Post:

Mitchell Robinson is the best offensive rebounder right now in the NBA.

It became his undisputed title after grabbing 11 offensive rebounds in Saturday night’s victory over the Hornets, giving Robinson 50 percent more than anybody else in the league this season.

But Robinson doesn’t think his greatest skill is a skill at all.

“It’s just effort,” he said. “It’s really just effort.” …

Still just 25 and in his sixth season, Robinson surpassed Bill Cartwright on Saturday for third on the Knicks’ all-time list with 1,116 for career offensive boards. He’s still less than halfway to catching No. 2 (Charles Oakley) and No. 1 (Patrick Ewing), but the outrageous pace makes it seem possible Robinson will get to the top.


The latest on Knicks forward Julius Randle

Per the NY Post:

As he struggled through the opening week-plus of the season, Julius Randle had been battling through ankle pain and, as a player committed to availability, resisted attempts from the Knicks to get him to rest, multiple sources told The Post.

Randle, who underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery in the offseason, was operating at about “70 percent,” a source said.

And through the opening six games — while limited by that pain — Randle was among the league’s least efficient players with a notable drop-off in his explosiveness.


Reflections from Chet Holmgren on Steph Curry

Per NBC Sports Bay Area:

Chet Holmgren proved himself a worthy adversary for the Warriors on Friday night, but it wasn’t the first time the Oklahoma City Thunder phenom has impressed Steph Curry on the court.

After Golden State’s 141-139 victory over OKC at Paycom Center in the NBA In-Season Tournament opener, the 21-year-old reflected on facing Curry for the first time after attending the SC30 Select Camp as a high schooler in 2019.

“First time playing against him in the NBA, obviously touched on it earlier but great players over there, and he’s one of them,” Holmgren told reporters of Curry after the game. “Definitely got to know where he is at all times. It’s a cool first full-circle moment, I guess you could call it, you know, going to his camp however many years ago it was and now being in the league with him and playing and competing.”


On the development of Michael Porter Jr.

Per the Denver Post:

The old cliché about defending champions evolving from hunters to the hunted has meaning that’s two-fold in the case of Michael Porter Jr.

As opponents attempt to identify any potential weak spots they can exploit on Denver’s championship roster, Porter’s checkered history as a defender might stand out. The Nuggets generally switch one through four in their starting unit, so it’s easy enough for teams to hunt a one-on-one matchup against Porter for their top scorer. Then play iso-ball.

The problem is, Porter isn’t playing like someone who should be hunted at the defensive end.

One of the smoothest 3-point shooters in the NBA is shooting 18 for 68 at his speciality since the start of the NBA Finals in June — that’s 26.5% over an 11-game stretch — but the story of his 2023-24 season so far is the same as his Finals arc.


Heat starting lineup has been ever-changing so far this season

Per the Sun Sentinel:

Considering the Miami Heat have started an NBA-high five lineups in six games, perhaps Erik Spoelstra should be taken at his word about Kevin Love being shuffled out of Friday night’s mix not necessarily meaning the veteran forward has been shuffled out of the Miami Heat’s consciousness.

But what Friday night’s victory over the Washington Wizards showed was that with Love out of the starting lineup there isn’t necessarily a role as a reserve, with Thomas Bryant playing as the reserve in the power rotation and small ball largely ruling the night in Spoelstra’s rotation.

“Look, nobody likes being 1-4, losing four straight. It sucked,” Spoelstra said of the record the Heat took into the Wizards game. “I hate having to make those kind of decisions, because from everybody outside, it looks like it’s an indictment on one particular player. It’s not. It’s really not.

“I hated having to make that move, because Kevin brings so much from a spirit and connection and leadership standpoint. But this is just a move for now.”


A glance at upcoming NBA media rights negotiations

Per the New York Times:

The companies holding the rights to show N.B.A. games — Disney, which owns ESPN and ABC, and Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of TNT — are collectively paying the league $24 billion over nine years for that privilege. But their contracts expire after next season, and the N.B.A. hopes to more than double the money it receives for rights in the next deal, according to several people familiar with the league’s expectations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing negotiations.

It won’t get that without a fight. After decades in which sports leagues garnered ever bigger piles of money for the rights to show their games, there are signs that media and technology companies are under increasing pressure to justify the exorbitant amounts they spend on broadcast rights. Interest rates are high, Wall Street is demanding profitability over growth, and streaming has reconfigured the entertainment industry.

The result of the N.B.A.’s negotiations will say a lot about the future of broadcast networks, the cable bundle, streaming services and the sports media ambitions of technology companies.


On Klay Thompson and the Warriors

Per the Bay Area News Group:

It seems likely Klay Thompson will be playing out the final year of his contract this season without an extension, but he’s not complaining.

Rather than bemoan the lack of a contract beyond this year, the 33-year-old Thompson sees it as an opportunity to “savor” what could technically be his final season with the Warriors.

“You never know what’s going to happen. I’m going to savor this as much as I can,” Thompson said hours before Friday night’s game in Sacramento. “Especially in this uniform. I was here before it was sweet, before it was four championships.”


Contract year for Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas

Per the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

The productive and durable Valanciunas made it clear in the offseason that he is comfortable in New Orleans. But he and the team could not agree on an extension, so Valanciunas will play out the final year of his contract without knowing what’s on the other side of it.

“I’m not thinking about that at all,” he said. “I am just going to play hoop. To play basketball. It’s one year at a time. I am just going to leave everything out there.

“Where the future is going to take me, it’s a mystery. But it’s funny that way. You don’t know what can happen tomorrow. You have to enjoy today. You have to enjoy this year. You have to enjoy every game you play. You just try to be the best version of you. That’s what my approach is.”

The Pelicans won 36 games in Valanciunas’ first season here and snuck into the playoffs. In his second season, they won 42 games but were eliminated in the Western Conference play-in tournament. Valanciunas said the disappointment of the way last season ended has made him and his teammates come back motivated.


Donovan Mitchell holding off on signing contract extension with Cavs


The deadline is still weeks away. But the decision has already been made.

Cavs star guard Donovan Mitchell, the perennial MVP candidate whose arrival heightened the organization’s expectations last summer, will not sign a contract extension before the season opener on Oct. 25 — and he has let the front office know that.

“I still have the opportunity to sign an extension next summer,” Mitchell said during the team’s annual media day on Monday afternoon. “My primary focus is this. Just trying to go out there and trying to be the best team we can be and bring a championship to the city and go from there. We added new additions. We obviously had a season that you could kind of rate went really well until it went really poorly. So, for us, that’s where all of our heads are at. That’s where my head is at.”


On Jordan Poole, Kyle Kuzma and the Wizards offense

Per NBC Sports Washington:

One aspect of the Wizards that could add intrigue and potentially make for a fun 2023-24 season is the unknown element of what they will be. The team was significantly reshaped this summer, namely with the trades sending Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis elsewhere.

What is arguably fairly clear, however, is that Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma are set up to be focal points in the Wizards’ offense. They both averaged 20-plus points per game last season and they also happen to be the highest-paid players on the team. The odds appear good; those two will be the Wizards’ top scorers this season…

Get ready to see a lot of threes from Poole and Kuzma, as both of them were top-20 last season among qualified players in 3-point attempts per game. They combined to take over 15 threes per game with Poole at 7.8 attempts per contest and Kuzma at 7.5. The Wizards as a team averaged 31.7 3-point shots last season and Poole and Kuzma could account for about half that number all by themselves. Only once in Wizards franchise history have they featured two players who averaged at least 7.0 threes attempted per game (2019-20: Beal, Davis Bertans).