New York Knicks: Mitchell Robinson’s scary plan to extend his game

New York Knicks Mitchell Robinson (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Mitchell Robinson (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

If his rookie campaign did not show enough with the New York Knicks, Mitchell Robinson wants to add another layer to his game.

Mitchell Robinson‘s rookie campaign with the New York Knicks was as promising and tantalizing as anyone on the roster. Amid a historically bad season, he became a lone bright spot and someone for fans to look forward to with the offseason certainty ahead.

Robinson blocked shots, caught alley-oops and delivered incredible feats of athleticism, but his offensive game was as raw as anyone’s on the roster. So that will make his words to Marc Berman of the New York Post exciting:

"“I want to shoot 3s next year,’’ Robinson said after the Knicks’ season finale last week. “That’s not the No. 1 focus [but] really to get stronger, work on my post moves. And then when it gets close to summer league [in July], start bringing in that jump shot.’’"

Yes, the 7-foot Robinson wants to take three-pointers. That should open fans’ eyes towards his development over the summer and into the 2019-20 season’s start.

This desire is not unusual. NBA big men have adapted to the changing style of shooting. Everyone takes attempts from beyond the arc, sans a handful of players. Robinson was one of them, but he played most of 2019-20 at just age 20 and without collegiate experience.

Per Basketball-Reference, Robinson took 90.4 percent of his shots from zero-to-three feet. The other 9.6 percent came from three-to-10 feet or the rare attempt from further away.

Basically, Robinson stayed around the rim. He never had plays called, except when wary point guards lobbed the ball to him for a ferocious alley-oop. This will continue in the years ahead, but if he can take and make three-point shots, that only increases his potential as a center.

Well, around the All-Star break, agent Mayar Zokaei posted a clip of Robinson making outside shots. A fan-pleasing video, but it’s only in an open gym, uncontested. It will take him making these in an actual game at Madison Square Garden to inspire confidence, especially after not attempting one three-pointer as a rookie.

The first chance for Robinson to showcase this is the summer league, which transpires in early July. He could be one of the best players to step onto the Las Vegas courts and dominate all facets of the game, much like his first go-around in 2018.

With little on the line, Robinson can stroke the three-point shots as often as he wants and find that in-game confidence. It’s against lesser competition, compared to the Anthony Davis-esque players he guards in the NBA.

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Strides in Robinson’s game are expected, and if he can add an outside shot, his potential for greatness only increases. What will he showcase for the New York Knicks next season?