While ninth overall pick Kevin Knox has stolen the headlines and affection from supporters of the New York Knicks, it’s his rookie colleague Mitchell Robinson that may steal the whole draft. The second=round selection out of the IMG Academy, Robinson has been quick to make an impact in areas the Knicks desperately need. Defense and athleticism.
Claiming comparisons already to Clint Capella, it’s Robinson’s shot blocking that gets your attention and his attack at the rim that keeps you staying to watch. Robinson’s the right big man for the Knicks in this kind of NBA.
Mitchell Robinson Looking Like Draft Day Steal
In a short amount of time, Robinson has shown the ability to cover anywhere on the floor to close out even the furthest of jump shots. The Knicks will put a focus on defense this year surely. His offense may come mostly inches away from the rim, but through the years many players have proved the importance of that role. Though Robinson’s athleticism through the air is something most bigs can’t compete alongside.
The beauty of picks in the second round is that they are low risk with a high reward. There is absolutely no pressure with a chance of hitting a knockout. That’s why the Knicks were willing to take a chance on a player that hasn’t played any competitive basketball in a year.
Another fun factor to benefit Robinson is the presence of Enes Kanter. It might seem not like the best situation now that Kanter might be gone after this year, while Robinson is groomed for an important team role. What we’ve seen though is Kanter is very protective and helpful of his teammates. Just look at how Kanter defended Frank Ntilikina in a scuffle with LeBron James. Kanter is an excellent mentor to guide Mitchell Robinson into the NBA.
Out of the Spotlight
Robinson also benefits from the spotlight that will be on his teammate Kevin Knox. The first-round pick has deserved the praise he has received, and that will work well for Robinson. What’s helpful for both rookies is that there’s no pressure this season to win. All Knicks fans should be happy if Knox were to emerge as some of the top rookies in the league and also receive a top=five draft pick.
Robinson could also be in that discussion, which lines up them all up for 2019 if some notable free agents like Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler were to make their way to New York. Group that with a returning Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks have the potential to put something interesting together.
Among other rookie bigs, Robinson has matched similar numbers to Mo Bamba and DeAndre Ayton. Of course this only a small amount of games and not against NBA players, but it’s worth note. Kevin Knox will be the rookie to keep your an eye on for the Knicks season, it’s Mitchell Robinson that will make you open the other one. He’s known for blocking shots, but he could be remembered for an even bigger steal.
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