Friday, January 28 2022
Mitchell Robinson swats a Spurs player blue uniform

Mitchell Robinson swats a Spurs player blue uniform

When the Knicks’ starting five took the floor for the opening tip on Tuesday night in San Antonio against the Spurs, there was one noticeable difference in the team’s personnel, as Nerlens Noel got the start at center, moving Mitchell Robinson to the bench.

As it turned out, the move paid off for the Knicks, as they pulled off a hard-fought 121-109 win over the Spurs to snap a three-game losing streak. Noel had a quiet but consistent night with two points, eight rebounds and three assists, Robinson was stellar in his 22 minutes off the bench, scoring 11 points while pulling down 14 rebounds, eight of which came on the offensive end.

After the game, Tom Thibodeau explained the thinking behind starting Noel over Robinson, saying he just wanted to change things up, despite both players bringing a similar skill set to the floor.

“Both of those guys are invaluable to us,” Thibodeau said. “We learned that last year when Mitch was playing great prior to his injury and then Nerlens stepped in and he killed it the whole second half of the season, so we feel really strongly about both guys.

“We just wanted a different look. Those guys are interchangeable. Just go as hard as you can for as long as you can and then the next guy comes in and does the same thing, so I thought our bench was terrific.”

As for Robinson, who had started all 20 games he’d played this season before Tuesday night, he showed no ill will towards coming off the bench when asked about it after the game, instead feeling pleased with being able to provide a quick spark.

“As soon as I got in, I was happy coming off the bench and getting out there,” Robinson said. “I had a smile on my face when I got that hoop.”

The Knicks will be back on the floor on Wednesday night in Indiana when they take on the Pacers at 7:00 p.m. While the Knicks wouldn’t announce any starting lineup plans for that game just yet, it would be logical to think that it will once again be Robinson coming off the bench as the Knicks looks for a second straight win.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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