Mitchell Robinson is the most effective offensive rebounder proper now within the NBA.
It grew to become his undisputed title after grabbing 11 offensive rebounds in Saturday evening’s victory over the Hornets, giving Robinson 50 p.c greater than anyone else within the league this season.
However Robinson doesn’t suppose his best ability is a ability in any respect.
“It’s simply effort,” he stated. “It’s actually simply effort.”
What in regards to the artwork of rebounding? The strategies of boxing out? The better instincts it requires to know the place a ball goes to bounce off the rim? We had been offered tales of Dennis Rodman changing into the most effective as a result of he honed all his senses — together with listening to — to find out the trajectory of a missed shot.
Certainly, Robinson is aware of the key recipe.
“I imply, if a man shoots from the left aspect, 9 occasions out of 10, it goes to the best aspect,” Robinson stated. “It’s simply form of widespread sense. Ain’t that a lot to it.”
You possibly can’t accuse Robinson of exaggerating his self-importance. However everyone else appears extra impressed.
Nonetheless simply 25 and in his sixth season, Robinson surpassed Invoice Cartwright on Saturday for third on the Knicks’ all-time checklist with 1,116 for profession offensive boards. He’s nonetheless lower than midway to catching No. 2 (Charles Oakley) and No. 1 (Patrick Ewing), however the outrageous tempo makes it appear doable Robinson will get to the highest.
“He’ll be on the prime of that checklist earlier than it’s all stated and accomplished,” Tom Thibodeau stated. “He’s been — he actually had an important 12 months final 12 months, folks didn’t acknowledge how nicely he performed. I feel this 12 months he’s gone to a different degree. The expansion has been nice. He’s crucial to our crew. His teammates have nice appreciation, the coaches, the group, for all of the little issues that he does to assist the crew succeed.”
Solely three gamers — Rodman, Moses Malone and Jayson WIlliams — averaged larger in a season than Robinson’s present mark of six offensive boards per recreation. A lot of it’s about his function. Robinson doesn’t get entangled in New York’s offense, leaving him free to face underneath the rim for prime place at any time when a teammate hoists a shot.
The rebounding — coupled with Robinson’s rim safety for one of many league’s prime rated defenses — has catapulted Robinson into the early dialog for a spot on the All-Protection crew. He’d be the primary Knick since Tyson Chandler in 2013 to earn a variety.
And it’s one thing Robinson would respect.
“After all, I’m a defensive participant. That’s certainly one of my objectives,” he stated. “That’s why I’m making an attempt to remain out of foul bother as a lot as doable. Play smarter. I can’t block each shot however I can positively alter it.”
Smarter doesn’t essentially translate to rebounding, nonetheless. In response to Robinson, that’s principally simply luck and energy.
“Lots of missed photographs,” Robinson shrugged. “Doing my job. Rebounding. That’s what I’m speculated to do.”