The New York Knicks were firing on all cylinders Friday night, defeating the Washington Wizards 109 – 91. It looked like a career night was shaping up for Mitchell Robinson, as he posted 10 points and 14 rebounds in the first half before leaving with a fractured right hand.
Even with Robinson out in the second half New York continued to dominate in the paint outrebounding Washington 65 – 45 while scoring 58 points in the paint compared to the Wizards 48. Russell Westbrook’s dance moves as he tried to stay warm during a delay in the game was the main highlight for the Wizards.
STAR OF THE GAME
Julius Randle added to his All-Star resume tonight, finishing with 24 points and a season high 18 rebounds. Randle is the fifth player in NBA history to total at least 550 points, 275 rebounds, and 145 assists in their teams first 25 games played.
Randle can be the Knicks primary facilitator on offense when they need him to be, but they are both served well on nights like tonight when he has some help as a lead playmaker and ball handler. Randle leads the NBA in minutes played, and the last thing the Knicks want to do is wear him out too early in the season.
Mitchell Robinson will be re-evaluated in New York tomorrow, so it’s too early to put a timetable on his absence. The Knicks will miss Robinson’s consistency, as he’s started every game this season, averaging a solid 8.4 PPG and 8.2 RPG while serving as an anchor defensively. While Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson are decent substitutes, this could provide an opportunity to try out some smaller lineups. Obi Toppin and Randle sharing some floor time would be great for their development and to get Toppin more minutes. Coach Tom Thibideou even mentioned playing Kevin Knox at the four and Randle at the five as another potential lineup. However, I fully expect Thibs to stick with his traditional big men.
Every game Obi Toppin looks more comfortable on the court. Toppin had a rough start to his NBA career, lacking a training camp in a shortened season and missing ten of his first eleven games with a calf strain. Derrick Rose may be the addition to bring some consistency to his game. Rose and Toppin have looked great together. Rose has provided assists to Toppin in his first two games back with the Knicks and has been a reliable duo particularly in the fast break.
Keep an eye on Toppin.
Vs Houston Rockets, Saturday, February 13th at 5:00PM Pacific
Never miss your teams next game. Download thePeachBasket‘s Next Game widget available at the Google Play store.