New York Knicks veteran point guard Derrick Rose might’ve given the starting point guard job away to Kemba Walker, but he is a catalyst to success for the team this upcoming season. In the Knicks’ buzzer-beater win over the Washington Wizards in the preseason finale, Rose looked like his vintage self, playing in 29 minutes and scoring 28 points.
Rose contributed 11 field goals on 20 attempts and shot 50% from three-point range over six attempts. Rose also added six assists, three rebounds, and didn’t turn the ball over once.
After an extremely productive season with the Knicks last year after being traded from the Detroit Pistons, head coach Tom Thibodeau immediately made him a focal point. Despite the addition of Walker, the expectation is that both will play a significant amount this upcoming season in hopes of fueling another postseason team.
Rose has enjoyed a solid preseason, which he hopes to roll over against the Boston Celtics next Wednesday at 7:30 PM. In addition to Rose, second-year player Obi Toppin also performed well, posting nine points and picking up eight rebounds and three blocks over 20 minutes. He shot 50% from the field and provided solid defense, which is something that he struggled with during his rookie season.
Rookie Quentin Grimes also experience 21 minutes of play, and while he struggled shooting, he did pick up six rebounds, two steals, and provided suffocating defense on Washington’s point guards.
However, one of the priorities for Thibs was to get center Mitchell Robinson some action after spending the last year rehabilitating from a fractured foot injury. Robinson has been working diligently in the weight room to increase his overall size and stature, as he contributed six points, nine rebounds, and two steals over 27 minutes. Robinson showed off some of his newfound muscle in the paint, shaking off defenders and dominating the rim.
The Knicks were able to get Robinson involved plenty, and his energy was contagious for the rest of the team, especially on defense. He had a few electrifying putback dunks that elevated fans at MSG. It is no question that Robinson is going to play a significant role this upcoming year for a team that needs an aggressor in the paint. Having Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson in tow will also be beneficial, but this Knicks team is rolling hot in the regular season after winning four consecutive preseason games.