Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson Makes Comment About Role With Team

Mitchell Robinson, Knicks, NBA
Dec 8, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) looks on during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023-24 NBA season got off to a great start for New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson. He was having the best campaign of his career, setting records with his performance on the glass.

Robinson was a one-man wrecking crew on the offensive boards, pulling down rebounds more efficiently on his own than some teams in the NBA. He was creating second opportunities for the Knicks on offense and erasing them for opponents defensively.

An excellent rim protector, Robinson has improved every season overall as a defender. He is not only the anchor for the team, but an excellent defender in the pick-and-roll with his length and athleticism.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Mitchell Robinson, Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks Updates

Without him in the lineup, it should come as no surprise that the Knicks’ performance in those areas waned a little bit without him. Robinson has not played since December 8th after undergoing surgery on his ankle.

In his place, the Knicks have received excellent production from Isaiah Hartenstein. Hartenstein has been able to replicate some of Robinson’s production in key areas while helping the team improve in others.

Not much of a contributor offensively outside of dunks, Hartenstein is someone that the Knicks can run actions with offensively. He is an adept playmaker for a big man and at least poses a threat outside of only dunks.

It will be interesting to see what head coach Tom Thibodeau decides to do with his big-man tandem once Robinson can get back on the court. Especially with Precious Achiuwa emerging as a valuable and versatile frontcourt piece as well.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Mitchell Robinson, Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks Updates

If it were up to Robinson, he would come off the bench. As shared by The Strickland on X, Robinson commented on an Instagram post about what kind of role he would want upon his return to the lineup.

Will Thibodeau see things the same way? Leaving Hartenstein in the starting five would make some sense given the chemistry and cohesion that the group has developed. Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, OG Anunoby, Julius Randle and Hartesntein are one of the most dominant five-man groupings in the NBA this season.

Not wanting to disturb that, Thibodeau could opt to bring Robinson off the bench, providing the team with a dominant big-man duo on the second unit. Thibodeau will have some difficult decisions to make, as finding minutes for someone such as Bojan Bogdanovic could be challenging with a healthy frontcourt rotation as well.

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