Winners and losers from Knicks preseason

The New York Knicks have a lot of talent on their roster but in Tom Thibodeau’s system, there are only nine players who will receive playing time. Here are two winners and two losers from the Knicks preseason and how it will affect the rotation.

Miami Heat v New York Knicks - Game Two
Miami Heat v New York Knicks - Game Two / Elsa/GettyImages
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Winner: Mitchell Robinson

Mitchell Robinson is the longest-tenured Knick but he is also a small winner in this preseason. Robinson's job is pretty simple, set screens, rim protect, lob threat, rebound, and be a great offensive rebounder.

He has been doing that at a very good level for his whole career. One of the best improvements he has had throughout his career is fouling less while defending at the rim. He has picked up right where he has left off in this preseason.

In the first preseason game he had 10 points, seven rebounds, four were offensive, two steals, three blocks and shooting 5-of-6 from the field. In the second game, he had eight points, seven rebounds, three were offensive, one block and shot 4-of-4 from the field. In his last preseason game, he had 12 points, seven rebounds, four were offensive, three steals shooting 5-of-6 from the field.

In the first three preseason games, he has been doing his job at an elite level. This preseason there has been some improvement to his game. Robinson would always struggle with his put-backs off of offensive rebounds that weren't wide-open dunks. 

Most of the time when Robinson gets an offensive rebound he is trying to dunk but when there's a defender he usually just passes out or gets fouled. This preseason he has looked a lot stronger when going up for those putbacks and has added a bit of a post game.

He doesn't need to have the best post game but when he's by himself at the rim, he needs a strong move to get good positioning. He has been doing exactly that because no one has stopped him from scoring off a putback so far. 

He is still a poor free throw shooter but he's been going up strong enough to finish through contact. This is a huge plus for the Knicks because Robinson's offensive rebounding is important but being able to finish off those for an easy two points can have a big impact on the scoreboard. 

Robinson in this preseason has been a huge winner with this new post game and ability to finish strong at the rim. Also, his defense has looked better than ever and he could be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.