The New York Knicks are 3-1 on the regular season as the team’s new approach of playing faster on the offensive end of the floor is paying off.
The defensive end of the floor also has been important when it comes to the Knicks’ strong start to the season.
Mitchell Robinson has been the defensive anchor for the Knicks since being drafted by the organization in the second round of the 2018 NBA draft. The shot-blocking center signed a four-year, $60 million deal with the franchise during the 2022 offseason. Robinson is the longest-tenured Knick on the roster, as he is going into his fifth season wearing blue and orange threads.
The Kentucky native isn’t satisfied even after recently getting paid when talking to the media during a post-practice press conference on October 25.
When asked about his impressive work ethic after receiving his contract, Robinson stated he’s still hungry for more. “Most people yell out, ‘when you get paid, you don’t want to work no more.’ That’s the opposite of me,” Robinson said. “Even though I done got me a little bag, I’m still gonna work even harder now because I want another one. I want more. I’m hungry.”
Robinson is currently the 16th highest-paid center in the league and showing his value on the court. He is leading the NBA in field goal percentage at 88.2 percent and is averaging 3.3 blocks per game which is the second most.
Robinson Likes the Team Chemistry
As a team, the Knicks have been meshing well together. The starting lineup and bench players have played within a faster pace offense, and players on the roster have talked about the chemistry teammates have with one another. That chemistry was built upon during the offseason when teammates would work out with each other.
Through four games, the Knicks are ranked second in total points per game at 122.8, second in rebounds at 50.0 per game, fifth in offensive rating at 116.6, and eighth in defensive rating at 108.1.
The Knicks rank tenth in assists per game with an average of 26.8. This is due to the playmaking of the Knicks’ prize acquisition in the offseason Jalen Brunson who averages 8.5 assists. Immanuel Quickley is focused more on his playmaking abilities when leading the second unit, averaging 4.5 assists per game.
Robinson was asked about the cohesiveness and chemistry utilized by the team to help them win games.
“Everybody been talking so much it’s kind of just building up as we go. Coming into the preseason, now the regular season, chemistry has been going up so high.”
Thibodeau Compliments Jericho Sims
Knicks center Jericho Sims has barely seen any action through four games of the season. The athletic center only played three minutes in the season, which came against the Detroit Pistons in a blowout win on October 21.
Sims was the 58th pick in the second round of the 2021 NBA draft by the Knicks. The center is known for his explosive verticality and rebounding.
Tom Thibodeau mentioned Sims when talking about the team’s depth in a post-practice press conference. “The guy who hasn’t played yet is Jericho. Jericho is terrific. I know when his opportunity comes he’ll be ready, but I love the depth that we have at that spot.”
Sims is behind starting center Mitchell Robinson and backup center Isaiah Hartenstein, which makes it difficult for him to get minutes. Last season Sims averaged 2.2 points along with 4.1 rebounds in 41 games played and was a starter five times.