Tom Thibodeau Issues Statement on Mitchell Robinson After Knicks Beat Cavs

Mitchell Robinson, Josh Hart, New York Knicks

Getty Mitchell Robinson, Josh Hart, New York Knicks

It’s official; the New York Knicks are heading into the second round of the postseason following their April 26 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Throughout the series, Mitchell Robinson has been a force to be reckoned with, especially on the glass, where he has dominated as a rebounder. Speaking to the media following the game, head coach Tom Thibodeau shared his belief that Robinson is the best offensive rebounder in the NBA at present.

“I’ve said this all along,” Thibodeau said. “I think he’s the best offensive rebounder in the league. Oftentimes he’s got two bodies on him, and they’re making a conscious effort to keep him off the glass. And now his defensive rebounding has come along also – that rebounding piece is huge. And then the shot-blocking, the rim protection, pick-and-roll defense, and his offense is starting to come as well.”

Robinson ended the series against Cleveland with averages of 8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1.2 steals, and 2.2 blocks per game while converting 64.3% of his shots from two-point range.

Josh Hart Praises Mitchell Robinson

It would appear that Thibodeau’s opinion of Robinson’s rebounding ability is shared by Josh Hart, as when addressing the media on April 26, he levied praise upon the improving big man.

“He showed this series why he’s one of the best bigs in the league,” Hart said. “He was huge for us on the defensive end; he’s gotta be the best rebounder in the league just in terms of how he goes and gets the ball on both the defensive and offensive rebounds. He was huge for us, blocking shots, rebounding, controlling the paint. Like I said, he showed this series why he’s one of the best bigs in the league.”

Robinson will have a new type of battle on his hands when the Knicks face off against the Heat in the second round of the playoffs, as he will be pitted against Bam Adebayo, who could cause him some problems with his elbow actions and dribble hand-off initiation.

Donovon Mitchell Conceeds Knicks Played Better

Following the Cavaliers’ defeat, Donovan Mitchell graciously admitted that the Knicks outplayed his team, also sharing his pride in the work his teammates had put in throughout the season.

“We did a lot of special things this year, but for it to end this way doesn’t feel right,” Mitchell said. “I’m proud of every one of those guys in this locker room, the coaching staff, and everybody, but they outplayed us. Gotta give credit where credit is due. Simple as that.”

Mitchell ended the series with averages of 23.2 points, 7.2 assists, and 5 rebounds over five games while shooting 54.2% from two-point range and 28.9% from the perimeter.

Thibodeau and his coaching staff will now turn their attention towards the Heat as they gear up for what projects to be a difficult series, with the first game being scheduled for Sunday, April 30. The winner between New York and Miami will then progress onto the conference finals, where they will face one of the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, or Atlanta Hawks for a spot in the NBA Finals.

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