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Mitchell Robinson’s improved conditioning sparking Knicks

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On Wednesday night, the Knicks won for the seventh time in their last 10 games.

Perhaps not coincidentally, this stretch was largely due to Mitchell Robinson playing the best basketball of the season.

After an off-season leg surgery that needed an early improvement in his conditioning, Robinson came to his senses to help bring the Nicks back to .500. The center scored a season-high 19 points in a game against the Mavericks on Wednesday with 10 rebounds and two blocks, which coach Tom Thibodeau called a “monster game.”

“Defensively, defending the ring, then putting a lot of pressure on the ring in the attack, then returning the attack and ending with a touchdown,” Tibodo said. “It’s a big game,” he said. These are games like that because they are so great games, these things can burn and inspire your team. So, if you force a guy to do that, it will fire everyone.

“Mitch is playing great basketball right now and that’s great for us.”

Mitchell Robinson finished the season with 19 points against the Mavericks.

Thibodo called Robinson the “eye of the defense” and praised him for his “multi-action” games and ability to collect the ball, while also being a strong outsider. The area was helped by Robinson’s improved air conditioning, which he admitted needed a bit of work at the start of the season.

“It’s a heavy pick-and-roll league,” Tibodo said. “Often there can be 60 balls in a game. He has to stand. He has to stop the ball. He has to talk, he has to communicate, he has to read the ball. He has to hide his mistakes. A lot is happening. ”

Mitchell Robinson guards Luka Donchich.
Mitchell Robinson guards Luka Donchich.

In the last 10 games (Robinson has played in nine), the Knicks have the best defensive rating in the NBA – 102.9. In the previous 32 games, they had finished 23rd with a 110.9 defensive rating.

Robinson lost his starting job to Nerlens Noel in December, but Noel took him back when he entered the health and safety protocols on Christmas Eve. Although he didn’t feature in a single game in the COVID-19 protocols, Robinson missed his last chance, including three straight two-digit scoring games and a series of double-doubles. used.

“[He’s] more reliable, ”Julius Randle said. “Getting in better shape. Obviously, being out for a long time takes some time. And just being aggressive, because he’s in good shape, he can think better of the game. ”

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