After falling to a devoid Portland Trailblazers team, the New York Knicks find themselves between a rock and a hard place. The Knicks held a double-digit lead at one point in the second half, blowing it in the 4th quarter, with Portland securing a 112–103 victory.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, Starting center Mitchell Robinson left the game early with a left ankle sprain, playing just 14 minutes and securing two points. Tom Thibodeau was forced to utilize Taj Gibson as the team’s primary big man for the rest of the game, playing 27 minutes and hauling in seven rebounds.
However, Robinson took responsibility for his tough outing, overlooking the injury and passing it by as if it was nothing too serious.
Can’t speak for everyone but I gotta hold myself accountable to play at a high level every night. tonight I was to relaxed and had no urgency I sold
— Mitchell Robinson (@23savage____) February 13, 2022
“The penetration hurt us,’’ Thibodeau said, via Marc Berman of The Post. “I thought the first half, the defense was pretty good. In the second half, it was very poor. Mitch went out early, so Taj’s minutes ran up and then we had to get Taj out of there. Then we tried to go with Jericho and that wasn’t working, then we went small, then we just brought Taj back. If we’re small, we need everyone fighting for rebounds.’’
Robinson has been dealing with a back injury and now left ankle issue, missing the team’s game against the Denver Nuggets before Portland. We should expect him to miss Monday night’s contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder as well.
In addition, RJ Barrett is still dealing with an ankle injury he sustained against the Nuggets last Tuesday. With the team down double-digit points, Thibodeau kept Barrett in the game, a decision that ended up being costly, as he twisted his ankle was just seconds left on the clock.
“I think he’s just day-to-day,’’ Thibodeau said. “Usually it’s just pretty standard to have the boot on to get the swelling out.”