There is plenty of reason for optimism in regards to the New York Knicks in the 2019-20 season. Their youth players have plenty of talent and are looking to take a step forward with the signing of several veterans this off-season.
Second-year players like Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson are both potential starters I can make an impact right off the bat. However, they must avoid the injury bug which is already acting as a contagion for the Knicks youth.
Reports have stated that RJ Barrett, the Knicks third overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, suffered a mild calf strain during the NBA Las Vegas summer league in July. This has forced him to opt out of playing for Team Canada in the FIBA World Cup.
Realistically, this is a good thing for the Knicks as they do not want to risk their top rookie in a meaningless tournament. A majority of the USA national team opted out of playing due to health concerns as well.
In addition to Barrett, starting center for the Knicks, Mitchell Robinson, has also picked up an injury during the off-season. Robinson, on the other hand, joined team USA during the World Cup training in Las Vegas. He picked up a minor knee injury, which was unveiled after undergoing an MRI on Monday. The damage is nothing significant, and the team will take a conservative approach by holding him out of practice.
Mitchell Robinson’s sore knee is minor. He underwent MRI on Monday and it was clear, a source says. Team USA is holding him out of practice for precautionary reasons. You can see him tweak the knee at the 50-second mark of video from yesterday’s practice pic.twitter.com/WduiLJngEO
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) August 8, 2019
Best case scenario, Robinson does not participate in the World Cup and preserves his efforts for the regular season of the NBA. One of the league’s top up-and-coming big men, Mitchell has serious potential to develop into a top player and one of the best on the Knicks.
Robinson has worked this off-season to improve his three-point jump shot in an attempt to add another layer to his impressive skill set. He utilized this part of his game primarily in high school and is looking to bring it back out from the depths of his talents.
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Averaging 7.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game, is a reliable benchmark for Robinson who averaged 20.6 minutes. If he can build upon those numbers and increase his offensive production, there is no question he can be one of the most tantalizing players on the starting team.