New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale recently stated that Mitchell Robinson’s athleticism ranks in the top one percentile of NBA players. It was high praise from an individual who has coached the likes of LeBron James, Jason Richardson, and Dwyane Wade.
Against the Atlanta Hawks, Robinson showed his skeptics why he was once a projected lottery pick: His athleticism enables legitimate two-way value.
Robinson finished his Summer League debut with nine points, eight rebounds, four offensive boards, four blocks, and one steal in 27 minutes. He shot 4-of-8 from the field, and while he struggled at the free throw line, the positives far outweighed the negatives.
Robinson’s size, length, and athleticism became factors on almost every defensive possession he was a part of, and even enabled him to make an impact on offense.
The context of Robinson’s statistics are what make them so intriguing. His steal was via his length and timing in defensive transition. His blocks included a ridiculous recovery after his man wrapped a pass around his waist. His points included a pair of two-handed dunks off of second jumps.
Robinson even threw down a stunning windmill in transition after the final buzzer had sounded, thus further displaying his elite athleticism. And yet, it’s his IQ that separates him.