Few players were saved in the disaster Knicks in recent years. Among them is Mitchell Robinson. Robinson, 22, who is averaging 2.2 blocked shots for his career, has never lacked for confidence. He also may not be wrong, with his rim protection becoming more spectacular as the season moved on. If there are no more games this season because of the coronavirus pandemic, Robinson will break Wilt Chamberlain’s field goal percentage record of 72.7 — set in 1972-73 when the Knicks beat Chamberlain’s Lakers for their most recent championship.
Robinson, who has been holed up in his hometown of New Orleans, also has to develop a mid-range jumper. Before each game, Robinson was on the court with assistant coach Pat Sullivan, launching perimeter shots from all angles. He refused, however, to launch once tip-off occurred despite defenders laying off.
Interim coach Mike Miller didn’t want to mess with a role at which Robinson became comfortable. Hence, Miller kept him as a reserve despite temptations to move him into the starting lineup when the 7-foot center’s game took off from February on.
The advanced metrics are superb. Robinson ranks 16th in the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating, which sums up a player’s positive accomplishments and subtracts negative accomplishments to offer a per-minute performance evaluation.
While he only took three jump shots this season, Robinson led the NBA for bench players in offensive rebounds (3.0 per game). He also rebounded 31 percent of the team’s missed shots at the rim when on the court (13th best in the NBA).