The New York Knicks seem to be over the developmental stage of their youth players and are keen on featuring the best lineup possible on game days. However, that poses a potential problem for some of the second-year players — Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson to name a few.
In regards to the rising center, the Knicks could elect to start Bobby Portis, a capable starter in the league that is better than Robinson at the current moment. If head coach David Fizdale’s assignment is to floor the best lineup every day, Portis could be in the starting unit, rotating the two frequently.
The new acquisition is in a good position to help the team, and he’s confident the Knicks can make the playoffs, he stated in an interview with HoopsHype’s Alex Kennedy.
“The naysayers, the haters, the people who are doubting us will say that we’re crazy as hell for saying that (the playoffs are a realistic goal),” Portis said. “We have a lot of pieces who can play. I think we’re loaded at every position; there are two-to-three players who could start at every position. When you have that much talent, that rises the competitiveness and improves the team as a whole.”
Portis, however, is a primary power forward rather than a center, but he’s capable. Portis is a center because although he has three-point range, he cannot guard quicker opponents on the perimeter. His defensive limitations hold him to a rim protector, but that’s the secondary problem, he’s also terrible at protecting the rim. In the modern NBA, a big man who can’t guard anyone around the arch is inevitably a center.
If Fizdale was smart, he would start Mitchell Robinson and never look back. Stunting his growth with a lack of playing time is the exact opposite of what he should be doing. It’s imperative he focuses his efforts around building upon the younger players who have shown potential, like Robinson and Dennis Smith Jr. We can even throw Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson and Knox in there for good measure.