Mitchell Robinson returned to the New York Knicks in free agency on a four-year, $60 million deal. The starting center the Knicks drafted in 2018 broke the curse of Charlie Ward, although since signing the amount of money he receives has been questioned.
Robinson is a known rim protector and rebounder. In the 72 games he played last season, he averaged a career-high 8.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. He can also finish on the rim, but one of the main criticisms of Robinson’s game from fans revolves around his attacking skills.
At seven feet tall, Robinson is a force at the post, but his offensive game doesn’t go beyond that. And because in today’s NBA, centers have become midrange and 3-point shooters, it has further highlighted Robinson’s lack of shooting.
When you look at his numbers, it’s obvious he’s not a 3-point shooter and is fighting from the free-throw line despite shooting 48.6% of the charity strip on the year. last.
So when Robinson’s coach recently posted a video of Robinson shooting 3-pointers and free throws during an off-season practice, it stirred the Knicks’ fan base.
Knicks fans question Mitchell Robinson shooting after offseason practice music video
In case it wasn’t made clear, Robinson is not a shooter. And as you can see in the clip above, he’s not in the best shape. His free-throw form looks awkward.
Even though his coach made sure to write that the shots happened after Robinson worked on his post moves, Twitter still let the big man hear it.
Here’s the thing, though. All we see is a short snippet of what Robinson has been working on this summer. You can look at his free throw form and say something is wrong, but it doesn’t make sense to take a clip and run with what Robinson did/didn’t do in the offseason.
Free throws are obviously much more important than a 3-point shot, but two of the best centers in the game, Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid, can hit deep shots. Embiid shot 37.1% from the 3-point line in 2021-22 and Jokic shot 33.7%. The MVP vote came down to the two of them, but it was Jokic who won the award for the second season in a row.
Robinson won’t arrive on the scene fresh out of a new contract in 2022-23 and will be like Jokic or Embiid, although that would be nice. New York came out and signed center Isaiah Hartenstein in free agency, who has a better shot than Robinson. Hartenstein shot 46.7 percent from the 3-point line with the Clippers last season, but that was on less than half an attempt per game. He’s not a great 3-point shooter, as some have said, but he has a much better shot than Robinson.
The Knicks wouldn’t have re-signed Robinson in free agency if they were deeply concerned about his free throw percentage or lack of jump shooting. Yeah, those things need to get better, but New York already knows what Robinson gets.
The odds of him even developing into a decent 3-point shooter next season are slim, but there’s no harm in him working on his shot from deep in the offseason. The Knicks no need him to be a threat beyond the arc. Let’s see if he can start by knocking down shots that aren’t within five feet of the rim first.