The curtsy played well in the stretch runs of the NBA season. After winning the last two games of his West Coast road trip, New York is 11-3 in the last 14 games.
The team was for the most part in good spirits throughout. But after that Tuesday’s comeback win at the Portland Trail Blazerslaunch center Mitchell Robinson went to snapchat and vented about his role.
“I’m tired of just being out there for the cardio fam, like I want to play basketball to really just waste my time and energy,” said Robinson.
He later addressed the comments on Instagram on Friday. The Knicks did not make him available to reporters after the team’s Friday practice session.
Robinson’s comments shed some light on how the Knicks’ center position has evolved this season.
Robinson was present mostly as a starter, while his backup, Isaiah Hartensteinwas solid.
middle of the third string Jericho Sims has also shown flashes when used as both a starter and reserve.
Here’s a look at how all three big men are performing, with 11 games remaining in the regular season.
In his fifth year at the club, Robinson was a presence down the middle. He is seventh in the NBA’s block rate. On offense he has mainly taken on the role of finisher and offensive rebounder. Robinson currently leads the NBA in offensive rebound rate (17%).
Following Robinson’s social media comments, fans may have been quick to point out that he doesn’t have a hookshot or that he doesn’t convert on free throws. It obscures why Robinson’s individual offensive numbers have tumbled and he posted his lowest-scoring season (7.5 points) since his rookie campaign.
Robinson’s scoring ability depends on his teammates – 60.2% of his field goals come from assists. If he misses the pass, the big man can only score on the offensive glass.
The Knicks are last in overall assist rating and bottom of the league in every passing stat. New York is the fourth isolation frequency, according to NBA stats.
Robinson is a praise threat and it feels like the Knicks rarely meet him at alley-oops. The center has recorded 35 alley-oop dunks, or layups, in 1,337 minutes this season. In his second season (2019-20), Robinson recorded 88 alley-oop finishes in 1,412 minutes.
Despite how little the Knicks pass the ball, the offense has thrived. New York ranks fifth in offensive efficiency, largely due to its effectiveness Jalen Brunson And Julius Randle been isolated. The team as a whole scores 1.00 points per ball possession in isolation, which ranks seventh in the NBA.
For Robinson, his roles as a defender and rebounder won’t change anytime soon, but the Knicks could make small concessions to share the ball and find it more often.
When the Knicks first signed Hartenstein last offseason, there was hope he could add a different skillset to the center position. Hartenstein was a great passer at his position and was successful at reading from the high post. He even blitzed an outside shot and made 14 of 30 3-point attempts (46.7%).
Over the course of this season, Hartenstein has morphed into a much more physical Big Under Tom Thibodeau. Hartenstein’s assist rate is a career low and he’s attempted just five triples since early 2023.
Hartenstein mixed it into the paint. In the last 10 games, he’s hit at least three offensive rebounds on six separate occasions.
Like Robinson, Hartenstein has seen the Knicks’ scoring dips of late. Despite playing center for most of the fourth quarter in three of the last four games, Hartenstein has only nine points in 94 minutes and 24 seconds of game action.
Sims hasn’t played much since Robinson’s return from injury. Despite shooting 76.9% from the field, Sims rarely shoots and requires fewer than five field goal attempts per 36 minutes.
Sims is in a similar position to Robinson, relying on passes from teammates or offensive rebounds to score. He will continue to remain a great third option at center and insurance for Robinson, who has missed at least 10 games in four of his five seasons.
Source : sports.yahoo.com