NY Knicks: Which 2022 NBA player awards can they win?

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks
Mitchell Robinson, NY Knicks. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

NY Knicks pick for Defensive Player of the Year: Mitchell Robinson

Mitchell Robinson as a DPOY candidate is something Knicks fans have been waiting for since he come onto the scene in 2018.

Defense has always been Mitch’s calling card. However, we have been given only a limited sample size of Robinson’s impact on a top NBA defense. After many years of very poor team defense, even during his rookie and sophomore campaigns, the Knicks finally had an elite defense in 20-21 with Robinson at (literally) the center of it all. And make no mistake, despite only playing in 31 games, he was a big contributor to that.

During this past season, Robinson averaged 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. Had he played the necessary number of games to qualify, he would have placed tied for 9th in BPG with Brook Lopez. Only 38 players finished ahead of him in SPG. It is even more impressive to know that just 64 players finished in front of him for total blocks even with Robinson having missed more than half the season.

Finally, Robinson’s 104 defensive rating was only topped by 3x DPOY winner Rudy Gobert, Nerlens Noel, and Joel Embiid.

To compete with guys like Gobert and Embiid for the award, Robinson will need to play a healthy 2021-22 season. He may even want to see a slight uptick in his BPG so they are more comparable to those other centers. This is something he is more than capable of doing since he averaged 2.4 and 2.0 BPG respectively in his first two seasons. It’s also noteworthy to mention that Robinson has an advantage many big-men don’t: being versatile enough to hold his own facing perimeter players.

As long as the Knicks defense remains elite, and he keeps up the numbers he’s produced, Robinson will see himself in the DPOY conversation.