The Knicks struggled so badly in the early going. It was setting the stage for a classic fake comeback. They were completely invisible defensively. The Magic were able to just pass the ball freely, almost carelessly, creating a carousel of easy looks; at the basket, open in the corner, above the break. Whatever switches they wanted, it was granted. Orlando softly laid the Knicks down and busted them wide open for an instant 19-6 advantage.
Only something odd happened after that. Emmanuel Mudiay came in and did a very wobbly Russell Westbrook impression to help the Knicks chip away and chip away. Eventually pulling to within five to close the half, despite some very awkward advancements.
When it came down to it, this game absolutely belonged to Mitchell Robinson, who altered and reclaimed all types of shots whether on offense or defense. He finished the game with 17 points, 14 rebounds (eight offensive), six blocks, three steals. Very nice 6-9 shooting and 5-6 from the charity stripe.
It wasn’t all Mitchell. The Knicks had their moments on defense, they just looked like pylons most of the time. There was this Dennis Smith Jr. block:
When dunking is YOUR thing pic.twitter.com/egosWdEk7J— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) February 27, 2019
That was cool. Let me expand on that theory...
Poor Wes Iwundu just got annihilated by Mitch pic.twitter.com/02S7iVKm0C— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) February 27, 2019
Just do yourself a favor and never try to score on Mitchell Robinson pic.twitter.com/Uo4kQZqafT— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) February 27, 2019
Again and again! The kid had four first half blocks and a few more alterations, deflections and then some. Pretty good job for the Blockness Monster. He’s still unwieldy at times and ultimately ran out of steam in the closing minutes of the half after playing 16 straight without a rest.
Boom. Re-fueled for the second half. Fizdale shuffled Mitchell into the starting unit for Noah Vonleh. In general that made the rotations much more sensible. Luke Kornet got his first minutes and the Knicks started hittin’ switches.
Allonzo Trier got the chance to take the gloves off and he made the Magic feel some static!
And then the the rice cake from Rice Lake threw a deep range dart! Go get ‘em, Clarence!
From the LJ spot!
HENRIK ELLENSON FOR 3 BAAAAAANG pic.twitter.com/NEAcPQVeav— Posting and Toasting (@ptknicksblog) February 27, 2019
All told monumental game from Mitchell Robinson.
Mitchell Robinson is the 7th rookie in the last 30 years to record a double-double and 5+ blocks in back-to-back games. These are the other six:— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) February 27, 2019
Yao Ming pic.twitter.com/p9eCveXxeZ
Weird, janky, somehow (semi) productive game from Emmanuel Mudiay who should still be let go in the off season. Clarence immediately became the second best Marquette player from Wisconsin to ever play for the Knicks. Trier put the fear in Evan Fournier. The Knicks shut down Terrence Ross, which (toot, toot) was my key in the preview. Aw man, back to back wins for the NEW. YORK. KNICKS!
Full recap to come. Keep the party rockin with Knicks Fan TV: