NY Knicks: Loss to Hawks highlights Mitchell Robinson’s value

Mitchell Robinson, NY Knicks (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Mitchell Robinson, NY Knicks (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks, Mitchell Robinson
Mitchell Robinson, NY Knicks. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The NY Knicks‘ first-round loss to the Atlanta Hawks was a reality check.

There aren’t many NBA fans who saw New York as title contenders, so this isn’t quite a “crashing down to earth” reality check.

The reality is, the NY Knicks are a playoff team with a surplus of draft picks and cap space – something you don’t see very often. So while the long-term outlook is bright, what he just saw over these past few weeks: The patchwork, next-man-up lineups the team rolled out against the Hawks proved that this team is not yet ready to make noise in the playoffs.

The 5-game series loss shined a light on some areas that the Knicks must address with their future roster management, but it also cast a particularly harsh light on a void that could have been filled by someone already on the roster, Mitchell Robinson.

The NY Knicks sorely missed Mitchell Robinson in the playoffs

After numerous cryptic tweets and updated injury reports, there was some hope that Robinson would be able to return, but that never happened.

It was easy to forget about Mitchell Robinson’s value because he hadn’t played in a few months. Not only that, but the Knicks were winning.

The idea that head coach Tom Thibodeau could essentially plug in any big man with a pulse at the center and the team would be fine began to have some credence because of the team’s record.

The playoffs hopefully shook those arguments away.

Let’s not deny the amazing job that Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson did with Robinson out of the lineup. If you’re looking at just the Knicks’ offensive flow, not too much is going to change with Taj or Noel in the lineup – Robinson isn’t ever handling the ball.

This is where we have to go beyond traditional box scores and dive deep into reviewing film, because the absence of Mitchell Robinson showed up just about everywhere.