New York Knicks rotation projection at full strength

Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, OG Anunoby, Julius Randle, Isaiah Hartenstein has been one of the best lineups in the NBA this season. Jalen Brunson has risen to stardom in the midst of the best season of his career and is about to be named to an All-NBA team. Julius Randle was having one of the most efficient seasons of his career before his injury, being named to his third All-Star team in five seasons with the Knicks.

After the acquisition of OG Anunoby, the team improved and the results were immediate. With Anunoby in the lineup, the Knicks held their opponents under 100 points in eight of Anunoby’s 16 games while dominating their opponents defensively. Over the same span, Anunoby’s plus/minus is an astonishing +291, the third-highest in the NBA since Jan. 1 behind teammate Jalen Brunson (+303) and Boston Celtics F Jayson Tatum (+314) .

You might notice that Mitchell Robinson is absent from this starting lineup. However, Isaiah Hartenstein filled in for Robinson’s absence very well. In 34 games as a starter, Hartenstein has averaged 7.4 points, 9.8 rebounds (3.6 offensive), 1.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game, as well as being a +196 since January 1 . While it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Robinson reinserted into the starting lineup, head coach Tom Thibodeau brought Robinson off the bench upon his return from a past injury.

In 2021, the big man came off the bench for two games due to a broken foot, and for 10 games the following season at various points while dealing with back and ankle ailments. Considering the way Thibodeau sticks to a certain routine until he can’t do it anymore, it shouldn’t be surprising if Hartenstein continues to start when Robinson returns.