Knicks' Mitchell Robinson expects training camp battle with Nerlens Noel for starting spot

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CoGreen
·2 min read
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Mitchell Robinson grips New York jersey
Mitchell Robinson grips New York jersey

Mitchell Robinson is entering his third season in the NBA this year and has a strong chance to win the starting center spot.

However, Robinson said he expects some serious competition for the position from Nerlens Noel, who the Knicks signed during free agency.

"I want to start, [Noel] wants to start, so we're just going to go at each other, it's just a natural thing," Robinson said.

By comparison, Robinson averaged 9.7 points on 74.2 percent shooting from the field (an NBA record that surpassed Wilt Chamberlain), 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks last season in New York, while Noel put up 7.4 points on 68.4 percent shooting, 4.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game with the OKC Thunder.

So on numbers alone, despite the two being close in some areas, Robinson has the edge. Add the fact that Robinson was drafted by the Knicks in 2018 and that he's known as a defensive anchor, and you can pretty much see the writing on the wall on which route defensive minded coach Tom Thibodeau will go.

Robinson said he's already been talking to Thibodeau after every workout, and that he's already heard from Thibs what his expectations are of him going forward.

But it will still be a battle none the less.

Aside for his defense, Robinson has been working on his offensive game this season and trying to work on his shot to help space the floor.

"Basically what I did this summer was still working on getting a jump shot. Did a lot of running. Because I want to be in better shape for the season to help my team out," Robinson said.

Up until now, Robinson has been known as being a threat in the air on alley-oops and for some moves in the post, but it looks like he's trying to evolve his game away from directly under the rim.