After suffering a concussion on Wednesday in Detroit, New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson will miss Friday’s game against the Mavericks.
According to the team, Robinson will not play against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday as the team continues to evaluate his recovery.
This is a tough blow for the Knicks. Robinson is the team’s best interior defender and it’s not particularly close. Head coach David Fizdale is searching for a way to snap his team’s four-game losing streak and the loss of Robinson will make things that much tougher.
In comparison to New York, Dallas has a loaded frontline highlighted by none other than Kristaps Porzingis. The former Knick is joined by Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber, two capable frontcourt running mates who allow Porzingis to play more of a traditional power forward role.
The Mavericks are 5-2 and are asserting themselves early in the Western Conference. It’s too early to make definitive assumptions about any team, but Dallas certainly looks like a playoff team.
Instead of Robinson, Fizdale will likely go with Bobby Portis at center alongside Julius Randle. Another option for Fiz would be to slide Randle to the five, Marcus Morris to the four, and start Kevin Knox at the three.
This would make for an undersized starting five. But Portis’ defense is suspect at best so there would be little if any defensive downgrade from playing a smaller lineup.
If Fizdale is truly looking to go defense-first, Taj Gibson starting at the five could make some sense. The veteran big man is clearly on the downswing of his career, but he’s the best interior defender the Knicks have without Robinson.
Fizdale will have his work cut out for him on Friday as the Knicks look to avoid another embarrassing loss.