Home News Knicks battling through more adversity with Mitchell Robinson out: ‘It’s unfortunate’

Knicks battling through more adversity with Mitchell Robinson out: ‘It’s unfortunate’

The Knicks suffered another brutal blow to their bench depth on Tuesday when it was announced that center Mitchell Robinson would miss the rest of the postseason because of a stress reaction to his surgically repaired left ankle.

Robinson, who was originally ruled out of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals because of left ankle injury management, will be re-evaluated in six to eight weeks.

“It’s unfortunate,” Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau said of Robinson. “He’s been through this before, just go through the rehab. You feel for him. It’s a part of the game. He’ll come back stronger than ever.”

The Knicks — who have been playing without All-Star Julius Randle since late January — had already lost forward Bojan Bogdanovic during the opening round of the playoffs because of a left foot injury.

The Pacers’ bench outscored the Knicks’ reserves 46-3 in Game 1 on Monday. But playing short-handed is something New York has obviously grown accustomed to this season. As their series against Indiana continues, Thibodeau expects whoever is chosen to fill the Robinson’s minutes to step in and step up.

“We’ve gone through this all year,” Isaiah Hartenstein said. “I think that’s something that gives us confidence. We’ve gone through this a million times. So, it’s sad but I think it helps us now when we have something like this happen.”

Thibodeau told reporters ahead of Game 2 players such as Precious Achiuwa, Jericho Sims, Alec Burks and Shake Milton could see extended minutes in Robinson’s absence as the series continues.

“It really points to Achiuwa plugging into that spot,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. “And Achiuwa is a different kind of problem, but he’s not a lesser problem. It’s certainly a loss for them because of the size and physicality. But in some ways, Achiuwa is more difficult to deal with because he covers more ground, he’s quicker, those kinds of things. [The Knicks are] well protected for a loss like this.”

Sims, Burks and Milton did not appear in Game 1 and Achiuwa played just four minutes. However, in 24.2 minutes per game during the regular season, Achiuwa averaged 7.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 50.1% from the field.

“When guys were injured before, [Precious] stepped up big. I think a lot of people forget when he was playing 40-plus minutes a game. I think a lot of people forget that. We have a lot of faith in everyone in the locker room, so I know he’ll step up.”


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