Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson claims he’s New York’s best center after 4th straight double-double

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks
Mar 1, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) dunks against Brooklyn Nets forward Dorian Finney-Smith (28) and center Nic Claxton (33) and forward Cameron Johnson (2) and guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks starting center Mitchell Robinson is back better than ever. And so are his controversial tweets.

Robinson claimed in a deleted tweet that he’s the best center in New York right after notching his fourth straight double-double at the expense of Brooklyn Nets’ Nic Claxton.

Robinson’s 13 points and 10 rebounds helped the Knicks destroy the Nets, 142-118, Wednesday night for their seventh straight victory. He didn’t miss from the field and was a plus-12 during his 25-minute stint on the floor.

On the other hand, Claxton had his moments offensively, but he was a minus-17 in 22 minutes for the crumbling Nets, who have dropped fourth straight, and eight of their last 10 games. The Nets center netted nine points on 3 of 7 shooting from the floor, eight rebounds, and one shot block.

After deleting his controversial tweet, Robinson insinuated that he was only joking.

But a couple of hours later, the Knicks center again tweeted, suggesting Claxton only had one basket against him during their matchup.

Per’s matchup tracking data, Robinson defended Claxton for about three minutes and 27 seconds, and Robinson was telling the truth, the Nets center only made one field goal — a three-point play — against him.

Conversely, Robinson made 4 of 4 field goals against Claxton when the Nets starting center defended him in four minutes and 45 seconds.

Robinson was motivated to show out against Claxton, who finished 10th in the fans votes for All-Star frontcourt in the East.

Claxton, the more offensively polished player between the two New York centers, has made a big leap this season, leading the league in field goal percentage (71 percent) while averaging 12.5 points, nine rebounds, and the league’s second-best 2.5 blocks per game. But his numbers have dipped since Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving departed Brooklyn at the trade deadline.

Over his last seven games, Claxton averaged 7.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while shooting 50 percent from the field.

Meanwhile, Robinson has put up 12.0 rebounds, 11.0 points, and 1.3 blocks while going 21 for 22 from the field in four games since he returned. Robinson is averaging a career-best 9.2 rebounds for the season, including the league’s second-best 4.2 offensive rebounds, with 7.6 points on 70.6 percent shooting and 1.2 blocks.

Robinson leads all Knicks starters with a 9.9 net rating, a top-six in the league. On the other hand, Claxton has a team-best 3.5 net rating.

Naturally, the Knicks and Nets fan bases have taken sides as they are embroiled in the raging debate on who’s the best center in New York.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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