The Knicks may have taken the L from the red-hot Wolves but Mitchell Robinson measured up against a three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Known for his defensive prowess and glass cleaning, I don’t believe anyone was expecting Mitchell Robinson to completely blow by Minnesota Timberwolves star center Rudy Gobert at the three-point line early in the Knicks’ contest against them, driving to the basket off the dribble and finishing the sequence with a slam.
Mitch really put Gobert in a blender🥴 pic.twitter.com/GdV1WeXZmP
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) November 21, 2023
It was just a part of an overall solid performance from Robinson in a game against two of the most dynamic bigs in the league – Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns – where his impact could’ve easily gotten lost in the fray.
His main assignment was guarding Gobert while also being guarded by him, and he still managed to put up a respectable 10 points, 11 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. All his boards against Gobert were hard fought, and it was great to see Robinson manage to continue to elevate his game and himself on a big stage like in the Timberwolves game, where most of the contest would be emphasizing the abilities of Gobert and Towns as a towering tandem.
Robinson held Gobert to just five points in the minutes he was defending him, making it difficult for easy blow-bys to work for the Minnesota big. He grabbed seven offensive boards against Gobert, too, adding to his totals on the season that continue to be far and away the best in the league on the offensive glass.
The Knicks center recently told New York Post reporter Stefan Bondy that he has a pretty easy methodology to the madness that has been his rebounding.
“If a guy shoots from the left side, nine times out of 10, it goes to the right side. It’s just kind of common sense. Ain’t that much to it.”
It was a very Robinson thing to say about something he’s been doing at an elite level so far this season: keeping it cool, short, and simple has opened up New York’s offense off second-chance points and allowed them to come back from shooting woes in multiple games this year (but not in the Wolves game, unfortunately).
His defense and attention to offensive boards have made it all the more possible for the Knicks to rely on the sixth-year big to clean up their mistakes, even in a blowout game like the one they endured against the Timberwolves on Monday night.
There will be plenty of other fun matchups to watch the Blockness Monster strut his stuff in soon for the Knicks, including an upcoming game against Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns this Sunday at Madison Square Garden. Robinson has been pretty solid against Durant in his career, including recording an athletic block on a three-point attempt from the Slim Reaper during his time as a Brooklyn Net. Hopefully, we’ll be able to catch another performance like Robinson’s against Gobert as he faces off with the star forward.