The Knicks came up on the losing end yet again on Wednesday night, falling to the Memphis Grizzlies, 120-108, at The Garden. The Knicks have now lost seven of nine to fall four games under .500, but there are some silver linings to take from Wednesday’s game, namely the play of Mitchell Robinson.
Robinson turned in another strong performance, stuffing the stat sheet with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and an impressive eight blocks. Robinson (+1 in 30 minutes) was the only Knick who played more than 20 minutes to finish with a positive +/-.
“I knew they were number one in almost every category, especially in the paint,” Robinson said afterwards. “I gotta protect the paint, so I just went out there and balled and got lucky, I guess.”
“They played very hard,” he later added. “You’re gonna get their best, so we just gotta sit down and take the challenge.”
Coming off a season in which he played just 31 games due to injury, Robinson has been working his way back from March foot surgery. And while he says he’s not quite a finished product yet in terms of his conditioning, he’s starting to feel much more like himself.
“Once I get in shape, I’m [going] to be a problem, I feel like,” Robinson said.
“Not all the way,” Robinson answered when asked about his current conditioning level. “Close, though, like very close to it, but just not all the way yet. I honestly feel like I can play a good 40-minute game. I didn’t get to 48 [minutes]. Once I get there, then I’ll be good.”
Head coach Tom Thibodeau gave Robinson credit for his ability to protect the rim against Ja Morant and an explosive Grizzlies roster, but he also pointed out plenty of room for improvement for Robinson and the rest of the Knicks on the offensive glass, as the Grizzlies pulled down 15 offensive boards, led by Steven Adams’ eight.
“The good activity, the rim protection, obviously vital. But when he goes to block, we’ve got to make sure we’re still getting back to bodies,” Thibodeau said. “Defensive transition, you’ve got to sprint back, you’ve got to find a man. Ball gets shot, you’ve got to find a body. So, Mitch did some good things, but we’ve got to finish our defense better.”
Robinson and the Knicks have a few days off before taking the court again, as they head out west to being a five-game trip when they face the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Source: Yahoo Sports