Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

All Hail Mitchell Lobinson!

In the interest of getting a fresh thread up and of sparking a little discussion, here is some Mitchell Robinson reportage today from the NY Post.

https://nypost.com/2019/02/12/where-mitchell-robinsons-fast-growing-game-can-go-next/

Some interesting things to parse, including his trainer’s comments and Fizdale’s at the end. Personally, I haven’t noticed all that much of a change in his play and conditioning. He was great in summer league and to start the season and he is still great. However, his fouls have dropped substantially and it’s interesting that Kerry Kittles might have made an impact.

And if we are talking rookies, I liked this video piece on the Ringer about the second best rookie in the NBA.

https://www.theringer.com/video/2019/2/13/18222454/luka-doncic-dallas-mavericks-rookie-midterm-video

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49 comments on “All Hail Mitchell Lobinson!

  1. ClashFan

    I guess a big question is, if the Knicks do try to trade for AD, do they include MitchRob in the offer? I like AD, of course, but I’d like the Knicks to just stay with the process.

  2. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    There is no way Louisiana born Mitchell Robinson gets left out of a trade to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis. Dennis Smith Jr, Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, our 2019 1RP, and all of Dallas’ picks would be necessary in any trade for Anthony Davis. The NBA is in love with Jayson Tatum, and the Knicks will have to do a lot just to be able to beat out any offer the Celtics make surrounding him. Mitchell Robinson, and his 5.8 BPM (Doncic has a 3.8 BPM, for reference), will probably be the centerpiece of any Knicks offer.

    If you can get Anthony Davis on draft night for Kevin Knox, the 2019 1RP (provided it’s not Zion), and the Dallas assets, you do it. If you have to add Mitchell Robinson and Dennis Smith Jr to that deal, then you probably go ahead and let Boston have him. This summer is an opportunity to rapidly accelerate our win curve, but betting on all three of Irving, Durant, and Davis to stay healthy with no depth behind them would just be pie in the sky.

  3. The KnickerBlogger's Apprentice

    Please don’t trade him.

    From that top article: “He has not taken a jump shot since preseason.” Talk about staying in your comfort zone ;-)

  4. ephus

    1. Watching Mitchell Robinson is the biggest reason why I watch Knicks games these days.
    2. At the start of the season, I was hoping that he would become a Clint Capela-type. That is a more reasonable hope today than it was in October.
    3. If he really has improved his ability to contest without fouling, he is a very valuable defensive piece.
    4. He is clearly the best defensive center that the Knicks have had since Tyson Chandler won DOPY. He is still light-years behind Tyson Chandler as a defensive player.
    5. If teams do not guard him on the perimeter, Fiz should definitely train him to do run the handoff from the 3 point line above the break. If the defending 5 does not step up, the handoff-recipient will have an open three. If the defending 5 steps up, Robinson will have an easy (for MitchRob) lob at the basket.

  5. geo

    From that top article: “He has not taken a jump shot since preseason.” Talk about staying in your comfort zone ;-)

    hmmmm, he’s only shooting 50% from the charity stripe – i wonder if that means he can’t really shoot at all beyond 5 feet from the rim…

    One day he’s going to have to improve and shoot the ball. He can do that. It will make him easier to have the defense guessing. I think he can be an Anthony Davis-type player – with a jab, mid-range jumper, dribble and explode to the goal.”

    don’t tease us Marcel…we’re drowning here, and, apt to quickly latch on to any sign of keeping our head from being beneath the water…

  6. ephus

    One day he’s going to have to improve and shoot the ball. He can do that. It will make him easier to have the defense guessing. I think he can be an Anthony Davis-type player – with a jab, mid-range jumper, dribble and explode to the goal.

    It is great that Mitchell Robinson’s trainer is saying this. I do not think it is probable that he develops into a well-rounded offensive player. Nor is it necessary for him to become a very valuable NBA player.

    If Mitchell Robinson does nothing but the following, and does them all at an elite level, he is going to become a very wealthy man with a long NBA career:

    1. Dive man on the pick and roll.
    2. Offensive rebounding with putbacks.
    3. Run the wing on fast breaks.
    4. Defend the post.
    5. Defend opposing ball-handlers on the pick and roll.
    6. Weak side shot blocking.
    7. Defensive rebounding in traffic.

  7. geo

    hmmmmmm, if only we could find a successful basketball player with a similar game to mentor him :)

    at least for another two weeks…i’m guessing(?) we’ll negotiate a buyout for DJ here in another couple of weeks before the march 1st playoff roster deadline…

    i’m probably too cynical for my own good – but, sounded a lot like marcel was justifying his paycheck…then again – mitch does appear to be improving….

    hmmmm, maybe marcel can work with frank and knox…

    seems like knox will have to wait until next season to get his first named used here on the thread…

  8. Owen Post author

    Owen really hates a long thread.

    Am I the only one? I feel like it takes forever for threads to load once there are a ton of comments. Is there a better way to do it?

    Mitch is fun to talk about and the only reason to watch the Knicks. I love him but I would trade him for Anthony Davis. I wouldn’t trade Zion. As effective as Mitch is, he’s still raw enough that I see him taking some time to be a force playing 35 minutes for a playoff team. And his ceiling isn’t Anthony Davis.

    I’d be happy keeping him too though.

  9. geo

    even if we did swing some deal for AD – i just don’t see our front office doing any better job than new orleans at putting together a roster that can win with him in it…plus – his salary is about to go up – way up…if he could dribble and distribute (a la harden) – maybe…

    i forget – what’s his annual salary going to be – 450 billion dollars a year or something…

  10. thenoblefacehumper

    As a frequent mobile user, I co-sign Owen’s distaste for multi-day threads.

    Looks like Mitch’s trainer is the only guy higher on him than us!

  11. Hubert

    at least for another two weeks…i’m guessing(?) we’ll negotiate a buyout for DJ here in another couple of weeks before the march 1st playoff roster deadline…

    I’m pretty sure we are not buying out DeAndre Jordan, and there’s a real chance he’s here next year if the market for him doesn’t get past the mid-level exception.

    Mitch & Jordan providing premium production at center for 48 minutes and only taking up $10.5mm of the cap would put us in a great place for roster building.

  12. Hubert

    i forget – what’s his annual salary going to be – 450 billion dollars a year or something…

    FWIW, we’ve been overestimating his impact on the cap here. $47mm is the AAV he was eligible for if he re-signed with New Orleans. If he gets traded, it’s less.

    2019-20 – $27.0mm (last year of current contract)
    2020-21 – $34.0mm (first year of new contract he can sign in 2020)
    2021-22 – $36.7mm
    2022-23 – $39.4mm
    2023-24 – $42.1mm
    2024-25 – $44.8mm

    That’s a 5 year, $197mm deal that takes him to the end of his age 31 season. You do that all day.

    Source: https://www.thebirdwrites.com/2018/5/29/17402760/anthony-davis-pelicans-contract-max-extension-curry-westbrook-wall-harden-free-agent-trade-celtics

  13. geo

    Mitch & Jordan providing premium production at center for 48 minutes and only taking up $10.5mm of the cap would put us in a great place for roster building.

    man, if DJ takes 9 million a year – that’ll definitely work…mix in a little kornet – we okay at the 5…

    it would also fit in with a KD signing…i don’t think kawhi will come here…i don’t want kryie on the team (despite his crazy talent – i think he’s been a big part of the issues boston has had this year)…i wouldn’t mind seeing kemba here – but, i think he really loves charlotte, and, probably the extra money…

    klay is too expensive for what he can bring to our roster…i’m hoping against butler – i think even at only 30, his style will lead him to spend more time off the court than on after another year or so…

    even if we keep DJ, let DSJ develop, sign KD – we still need a starting shooting guard and power forward: hopefully we could draft at one of those positions (zion could play either it seems :)…

  14. geo

    damn – i stand corrected…yeah, don’t listen to me…

    2019-20 – $27.0mm (last year of current contract)
    2020-21 – $34.0mm (first year of new contract he can sign in 2020)
    2021-22 – $36.7mm
    2022-23 – $39.4mm
    2023-24 – $42.1mm
    2024-25 – $44.8mm

    That’s a 5 year, $197mm deal that takes him to the end of his age 31 season. You do that all day.

    you all are waaaaaay better than any sports “site” i’ve ever visited…heck, maybe another 5 or 10 years on this site and i could do DRed’s job…

  15. Hubert

    man, if DJ takes 9 million a year

    I could be wildly underestimating his market, I don’t know. He got $22mm last summer but he still was considered a top defensive player. After his lack of effort on D contributed mightily to Dallas’ woes, I don’t expect him to be treated as a two-way player this time around.

  16. Farfa

    I don’t know, I think DJ’s rep has been a bit tarnished by this year. It’s possible he’s not in high demand, and that we’ll be able to sign him for 18/2. He would be worth it, though, only if he played with fiery intensity, otherwise it’s Kanter part 2.

  17. Farfa

    And yes, the only piece that might make Mitch expendable in s blockbuster trade is Zion. If we draft anybody else, keep Mitch on the team.

  18. Bruno Almeida

    I think Jordan will have a market, as there’s plenty of teams who could use a still productive veteran center who is by all accounts a great locker room presence, even if it’s on a rotation and not necessarily playing starter minutes.

    It’s more that I see few scenarios where keeping him is actually ideal for us. If we get any combination of the top free agents to come, then the money for him is probably better used elsewhere, as Mitch is ready to at least take 25 minutes of the center rotation and it’s not hard to fill in the rest between Kornet and other minimum guys; if the Knicks strike out on everyone, then it makes even less sense to keep Jordan. The only scenario I could see where keeping him makes a lot of sense is if we do draft Zion but no free agents come, then he would keep his role as a mentor for a year or two as the team starts to build around Zion slowly.

    It’s just a situation where he’s a good player, a great guy to have around, but as a basketball player he’s at a point in his career where he’s no longer a core part for a future strategy, but is still good enough to get good offers elsewhere. Like I said, I like the guy and would like to see him stick around specially if we get a competitive team for next season, but it’s very unlikely without any sort of bird rights available.

  19. Donnie Walsh

    DeAndre Jordan is an amazingly good fit as a mentor for Mitchell Robinson.

    Jordan and Robinson were both drafted in pretty much the same place in the 2nd round too, so that seems to be the going place for low volume efficient scorers that block shots (Whiteside was also picked right around there too in recent years).

    I had never heard of Robinson before the Knicks selected him, but Jordan I remember was projected as a lottery pick in ‘08 and just kept falling and falling and falling. It’s funny that lighting has struck the same spot again. Usually teams (foolishly, probably) fight the next battle based on the errors of the previous war.

  20. Early Bird

    If we do sign DJ and Durant, who do we get to round out that team? If DJ is worth 9 million, we can’t sign a 2nd max (correct me if I’m wrong). Can we add some above average pieces and be borderline in contention?

    Best case scenario given the above is packaging our leftover young players, Mitch, and some first rounders for a max level player. I would say AD, but that might be weird next to DJ.

  21. DRed

    Mitch doesn’t ever have to shoot a jump shots in his NBA career to be very valuable but it would be great if he could learn to hit ~65 percent of his free throws

  22. Hubert

    Nice breakdown in that Film School link about how Knox never passing makes him that much easier to defend. We talked yesterday about what Fiz should be doing better with him. IMO, it’s not telling him to stand in the corner, it’s explaining to him how much it will open up his offensive game if he looks for teammates.

    Knox has averaged 24.8 passes per game in 28.5 minutes. Among the 13 Knicks to appear in at least 25 games this season, only Mitchell Robinson has made fewer passes per minute.

    His few passes haven’t been very productive, either. Only 3.9% of Knox’s passes have resulted in an assist, 14th-lowest rate in the league.

    Specifically, Knox has been too shot-happy when driving to the hoop. Among the 127 players to drive at least 200 times so far this season, Knox has passed on the lowest percentage of his drives, at only 10.8% (24 out of 223). The average number in that group is about 40%, while the league leader, Ryan Arcidiacono, has passed out of 64.0% of his drives.

    In turn, Knox’s drives have not been very productive. On those plays, he has shot only 39.7% (13th worst), turned the ball over 8.5% of the time (26th worst), and committed an offensive foul 13.0% of the time (4th worst).

  23. Hubert

    If DJ is worth 9 million, we can’t sign a 2nd max (correct me if I’m wrong)

    We can if we end up with the 3rd or 4th pick in the draft. You’d have to trade Frank and waive Dotson.

  24. Grocer

    The long threads can be kind of a hassle, mostly cause my phone constantly loses NY spot.

    I would be positive about him as a coach if we finished the year with 14 wins but I saw every kid on the team setting solid screens and effectively switching on D.

    To be fair we’re running way more pick and roll and setting way more screens than we were a couple months ago. I think he started out wanting everybody to freelance and then gradually worked in plays. I don’t think it’s a bad plan, necessarily, but it’s not a particularly good one.

  25. DRed

    We have-by far- the worst offense in the NBA over the last 10 games so whatever we’re doing it’s not working so good

  26. Bruno Almeida

    @26

    What is annoying is that we were concerned here before the draft for this exact reason. He averaged 1.8 assists per 40 in college and couldn’t finish his drives either because he always took weird angles and ended up with flailing arms shooting an awkward floater.

    Yes, early to count him out bla bla bla etc, but he’s been doing exactly what most of us who were against the pick were afraid of.

  27. JK47

    Yeah people said that head-down, throw-up-a-weak-floater shit wouldn’t fly in the NBA and well, here we are

  28. Early Bird

    Like Ntilikina and Shump before him, Knox’s path to NBA relevance is being an NBA shooter. Luckily, as so many of us here assert, upping your 3p% to around .400 is easy.

    He’s definitely not getting any faster or quicker as he gets older.

  29. ephus

    I had never heard of Robinson before the Knicks selected him, but Jordan I remember was projected as a lottery pick in ‘08 and just kept falling and falling and falling.

    I attended that draft and DJ was not projected as a lottery pick (at least as of draft night). I know because I walked in next to him (with my daughter) and I could not get over how spindly he looked in person. He must have put on 40 pounds of muscle over the last decade.

    If we do sign DJ and Durant, who do we get to round out that team? If DJ is worth 9 million, we can’t sign a 2nd max (correct me if I’m wrong). Can we add some above average pieces and be borderline in contention?

    If the Knicks were able to use cap room to sign Durant and a 2nd max player, and then wanted to make additional signings, the non-taxpayer midlevel exception would become available. For 2019-20, that is projected to be $9mm per year (which can be split into multiple contracts). The complete non-taxpayer midlevel exception would be 4 years, $36 million. I can’t imagine the Knicks offering DJ anything like 4 years. 2 years/$18 million would be possible, particularly if Durant was advocating for DJ to stay.

  30. Brian Cronin

    Kanter chooses Portland. Interesting. I wouldn’t think that they would have a lot of room for him with Nurkic there. Boy, Denver sure sold low on Nurkic, huh? I agree that they should have traded him, but dang.

  31. Hubert

    How about Fiz using that dungeon of his to punish egregious ball hogging? These numbers are ridiculous:

    Among the 127 players to drive at least 200 times so far this season, Knox has passed on the lowest percentage of his drives, at only 10.8% (24 out of 223). The average number in that group is about 40%

  32. Brian Cronin

    If the Knicks were able to use cap room to sign Durant and a 2nd max player, and then wanted to make additional signings, the non-taxpayer midlevel exception would become available. For 2019-20, that is projected to be $9mm per year (which can be split into multiple contracts). The complete non-taxpayer midlevel exception would be 4 years, $36 million. I can’t imagine the Knicks offering DJ anything like 4 years. 2 years/$18 million would be possible, particularly if Durant was advocating for DJ to stay.

    The mid-level isn’t available if they use up their cap room on Durant and a 2nd max guy, just the room exception, which is $9 million for two years.

  33. Brian Cronin

    How about Fiz using that dungeon of his to punish egregious ball hogging? These numbers are ridiculous:

    The dungeon has always been kind of nonsense. There’s no rhyme or reason to it.

  34. ephus

    Boy, Denver sure sold low on Nurkic, huh? I agree that they should have traded him, but dang.

    On the other hand, the rise of Jokic followed the Nurkic trade. As far as Denver is concerned, they can be happy with the addition by subtraction.

  35. Brian Cronin

    On the other hand, the rise of Jokic followed the Nurkic trade. As far as Denver is concerned, they can be happy with the addition by subtraction.

    Oh, they definitely needed to trade him, but they included a first round pick to get rid of him! That’s bonkers!

  36. Bruno Almeida

    It ended up being the 20th pick since it was the Memphis pick, but it allowed Portland to trade up with their own pick for Zach Collins. I do think Mason Plumlee is better than he’s given credit for, but yeah, you should never have to sweeten the deal for someone to agree on a swap between him and Nurkic, quite the opposite.

    I think Kanter did well in terms of choosing a team that will showcase his best skills. Portland is already a very good rebounding team, but they really need scoring from the bench and well, Kanter can surely do it.

  37. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I was fine with the Plumlee aspect of the trade (at the time of the deal, he was likely the better player, as Nurkic had struggled some in Denver as he was a terrible fit with Jokic), but including the first rounder always seemed nuts.

  38. JK47

    Guys I thought would be good, then stunk for a while, then turned out to be actually good: Jusuf Nurkic, Domantas Sabonis

  39. Grocer

    I feel like the day after Embiid gave a press conference about how “the refs fucking suck” is the most fun time to be playing the Sixers.

  40. Brian Cronin

    Guys I thought would be good, then stunk for a while, then turned out to be actually good: Jusuf Nurkic, Domantas Sabonis

    I’m thrilled that Okafor and Russell are now looking kind of sort of kind of good (Russell made the All-Star team, but, come on, we know that that’s a joke, since they base that stuff on pointzz).

  41. dtrickey

    Sabonis has probably been the biggest surprise. That PG13 trade looks a bit more even now than at the time it went through, especially when you look at how Oladipo was performing pre-injury.

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