When it comes to this year’s New York Knicks team, many are excited about the potential their new-look talent pool has to offer.
From their splashy free agency acquisition Jalen Brunson to their promising young prospects such as Quentin Grimes and Obi Toppin, the Knicks have a plethora of players at their disposal who have garnered the attention of both fans and media pundits alike as we head into 2022-23.
However, when it comes to who’s caught the eye of Tom Thibodeau, it seems that Mitchell Robinson is the one who has received the highest praise from the seasoned head coach.
During the offseason and throughout the preseason, New York’s headman has consistently been on record talking up his fourth-year big man, particularly when it comes to his hustle and ability to crash the boards.
Perhaps the loftiest of compliments surfaced back on October 4, when ESPN’s Tim Bontemps reported that Thibodeau labeled Robinson as the “best offensive rebounder in the league,” while SNY’s Ian Begley followed this up by reporting that the coach called him “a freak athlete,” highlighting that the strength he added “two offseasons ago” helped in this area of his game.
And while the admiration from his coach could certainly be viewed as a huge confidence booster on its own, as we approach tip-off to New York’s first game of the season against Memphis, it appears that even some of their opponents couldn’t help but praise the center for his efforts in the rebounding department.
Memphis Big Sounds Off on Robinson
Per a Tweet by Ian Begley on October 19, Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams reaffirmed Thibodeau’s comments on Mitchell Robinson being the best offensive rebounder in the league, as he went on to talk up the Knicks big’s intangibles in that area of the game.
“Probably, yeah probably,” Adams said when discussing whether Robinson was the best offensive rebounder in the NBA, via Begley. “The dude’s really good, man. Positioning, tipped balls all that. He’s solid.”
These comments by Adams should certainly be viewed in high regard, as he’s established himself as one of the best offensive rebounders in the league ever since being drafted back in 2013, boasting career averages of 6.5 boards per 100 possessions on this side of the ball.
Last season, the 29-year-old wound up being the only player to average more offensive rebounds per game than Robinson, bringing down 4.6 per night in comparison to the latter’s 4.1.
Knicks Veteran Dishes on Brunson’s Leadership
During a media session held on October 17, veteran point guard Derrick Rose discussed the type of attributes he believes Jalen Brunson has already brought to the New York Knicks during his short stint with the club.
In his remarks, the former MVP couldn’t help but highlight the 26-year-old’s strong leadership skills as being perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of his presence.
“Me playing behind him and just seeing how much of a leader he is, like his leadership skills [and] how vocal he is, I’m learning from him on the go,” Rose said. “He’s always picking people up every day. He’s very persistent with his energy. You can hear it in his voice. That’s what you need from your point guard. We’re very lucky to have him.”
Along with Rose, power forward Julius Randle also has noticed how impressive Brunson has already proven to be with the Knicks, going as far as to state that he has been surprised by how quickly the guard has managed to mesh with the team.