The New York Knicks have impressed in their two preseason games so far, and they’ve been doing it so far without a few of their key pieces.
Big man Mitchell Robinson, who missed the entire playoff run last season, is still out with an injury and there’s still no timetable for when he can return.
Things are looking grim for fans out there who hope he’ll be ready for the start of the season, but coach Tom Thibodeau did provide an important update for the young center ahead of their preseason matchup against the Detroit Pistons.
Robinson Injury Update
From the sound of things, Robinson will still be out for a while, but he is making some progress.
According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz, the big man is participating in some contract drills in practice, but he has no timetable for coming back.
His conditioning is still a work in progress and he’ll need to have all of that ironed out before he can actually start playing in some games.
The regular season tips off October 20 against the Boston Celtics and it’s looking like the Knicks will be doing so without Robinson. Luckily, the Knicks do have a little bit of depth at the center position to help fill the void.
If Robinson isn’t ready for the season, look for Nerlens Noel to get the start with Taj Gibson backing him up. The Knicks also have rookie Jericho Sims at center, and Derrick Rose has liked what he’s seen so far from him.
Speaking of Noel and Rose, both of them should be ready to go against the Pistons after having some injuries of their own to deal with.
With just two more preseason games to go, the Knicks don’t have a ton of time to build their rapport with the new guys. With that said, the team has looked good on the offensive end, something they are actively working on this offseason.
Robinson Has Lofty Goals
When Robinson does return from his foot injury, he’ll have his work cut out for him if he wants to reach the heights he’s set for himself.
He’s on the record saying he wants to be in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation, something that won’t be possible if he’s wearing street clothes all season.
One thing that has never been in question is the defensive prowess of the Knicks big man. His offensive game can still use some work, but he’s best suited as a strong rim protector for the team.
Going into a contract season, Robinson will want to stay as healthy as possible in order to secure a good contract from either the Knicks or another team. It’s not looking like the rumored contract extension will be happening before the season kicks off, so Robinson will have to bet on himself.
He’s going to be a crucial part of the Knicks’ success this season, so the team will want him back as soon as possible.