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P&T Player of the Week for Oct. 15-21: The Centers

A big week for the big men.

NBA: Preseason-Minnesota Timberwolves at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Another week brings another Player of the Week award to hand out.

Unfortunately, in the Knicks’ world, there isn’t much positive news to debate over. The squad lost three straight preseason games in what has been an underwhelming game-to-game effort. A subpar showing versus the Timberwolves didn’t do much to impress fans, and in the next game against the Celtics, many key players were missing. Our reward the following night? A Jordan Poole 41 piece. Hold the fries.

In general, the Knicks haven’t looked like the squad that they did down the stretch of last season. Three consecutive losses have put a damper on the fanbase’s optimism leading up to the year, and the Knicks have to clean up a lot of their play before the season tips off on Wednesday versus Boston.

That being said, it’s only fair that we reward this week’s POTW to the brightest spot of the preseason. In an unprecedented move, the Posting and Toasting staff has agreed to give the award not to a player, but to a position group. The centers donning blue and orange have been overwhelmingly the most encouraging part of the preseason.

We’ve written our fair share about Mitchell Robinson this preseason. He’s looked dominant at times, nearly averaging a double-double in less than 23 minutes of play. Robinson appears to be stronger, more assertive, and seems primed to put forward a campaign as one of the best rebounders in the league this season.

His backup, Isaiah Hartenstein, looks to be in pristine form after a slow start to his season last year. The second unit looks cohesive when he’s on the floor, and he appears to be looking to score more. His passing is still crisp, his rebounding is great, and his post presence is strong.

Also, keep an eye on his three-point shooting. He looks more willing to step behind the arc and let it fly than ever before in a Knicks jersey.

While there might not have been too much to write home about this week, the pairing of Robinson and iHart have satiated fans during a bumpy start to the 2023-24 season. Both of them turned in encouraging weeks. But the fun really starts on Wednesday, and in next week’s column we’ll have some regular season action to cover. Until then.