MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mitchell Robinson was not feeling well Wednesday in Dallas, but he took the court and contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds, dominating in the paint against the undersized Mavericks.
It was the sort of performance that has become increasingly consistent for Robinson and the kind of effort that could make for an interesting free agent summer for him. Robinson is an unrestricted free agent after this season and his improved play has made him valuable not only to the Knicks, but other teams in search of a force in the paint.
Aside from Monday in Sacramento when he left the game after just one minute and 40 seconds with an illness, he has posted double-doubles in the last three games. At the trade deadline there was interest in Robinson, but teams backed away with the chance of getting him for no return in the summer.
"When that times comes we’ll approach it when it comes," Robinson said of free agency. "Everybody now is just focused on the season. That’s why you got an agent to handle that type of stuff for you when you focus on the court."
Part of the change in Robinson’s play has come from the muscle he added while rehabbing from a foot injury that kept him off the court in the summer. With the muscle he has become more aggressive.
"It helps a lot," he said. "When you hit them they don’t try to fight back. [Before] they’d probably push me back under the rim. Now it’s a fight. I can do a little bit more. I’m adding to my game right now. Offensive rebounding, defense, blocked shots, that’s already there. So just start adding now at this point."
Good news, bad news
With the injury to the AC joint in his right shoulder Cam Reddish will be out for the rest of the season. But the Knicks were pleased that he will not require surgery.
"Of course, you hate to see a player get injured," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We knew it was serious, but we’re pleased that he won’t have to have surgery. That’s a good sign. It’s an unfortunate part of the game. Just focus on the rehab now."
Thibodeau said that in the brief time he had with Reddish since the trade from Atlanta he was pleased with what he saw.
"He was good," he said. "His attitude was great, the way he worked. So very, very positive. Got to get him back in the gym. Just go through the rehab, do all that stuff. But very positive."