ATLANTA – The Hawks just got Clint Capela in a trade deadline deal. While still injured, "The Next Capela" dominated the field at State Farm Arena on Sunday, despite the Knicks 140-135 double overtime heartbreaker at the Hawks.
Knicks Center Mitchell Robinson was sensational – a massive edge force at both ends that scored 15 points with 11 rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
When Robinson was drafted into the second round in 2018, former Knicks coach David Fizdale said Robinson had the potential of Capela. It looks like he might have more than that and it is a shame that he was excluded from the Rising Stars all-star game for beginners and second year beginners.
"I don't really look at him," Robinson said of Capela. "We do the same. He's fine, but I think I'm better at defense. "
Robinson owed his spectacular appearance to his mentor Taj Gibson, who told him in two games before the road trip that he needed to be more fiery.
"Taj talked to me to play with a little more strength," said Robinson. “I did that in Detroit and took it to Atlanta with me. I played harder tonight even though my back to back was tired. I had to assert myself. "
It wasn't even about Robinson's alley-oops. Every pass he had gotten near the basket immersed him.
"He was great," said Julius Randle. "He was great. Do what Mitchell does. That makes him special when he defends the rim, rebounds offensive, runs around on the floor and creates additional possessions. He was incredible."
One of his best games was controversially voided in the fourth quarter when he tore D’Andre Hunter's ball underneath and dipped it. (Officials said a bank timeout was announced before Robinson stole it.)
"How can you call a break?" Said Robinson. "It was crazy. The ball was already in my hands. It was already through the net."
After the game, ex-kink shot blocker Dikembe Mutombo walked past the locker room and said, "There are no more shot blockers in the league." When a reporter asked Robinson about Mutombo, he said, "Yes, he's good. & # 39; & # 39;
"[Robinson] was excellent, "said Knicks interim coach Mike Miller." His offensive numbers look good, but his defense, the way he affected the game, and what he did along that line were great. "