WASHINGTON – The president of the Knicks, Leon Rose, made a surprise visit to Washington Friday night, making his only second game on the road, sitting a few meters away from Vice President William Wesley.
Rose saw his Knicks win the battle for the Wizards in defeat at 109-91, at an empty Capital One circuit, but lost the war.
Intermediate Knicks Mitchell Robinson, after 10 points, 14 rebounds in the first half, leaving the match in the third quarter of the X-ray that showed I broke his right hand.
The Knicks, as they say, cannot take a break, losing their defensive position for weeks. This is a team that has no margin for error.
“It was probably his best first half of the year,” said Knicks coach Tom Tibudo.
Robinson tried to block a shot, but ran into Julius Randall when he came down, and his hand hit Randall’s elbow. Robinson started by shaking his hand, but he stayed in the game. He looked into distress when he missed two free throws – one that missed the edge completely.
It’s very tough, Randall said, “Sure, it’s going to be tough without him.”
The coaching staff showed Randall a video clip of the play in the locker room after the match and spoke to Robinson.
“He’s in great spirits,” said Randall. “Very positive. He will be with us every step of the way. “
Part of the Knicks’ relative success was continuity and injury-free survival for the main players. Now that has broken. They added Derek Rose and he has adapted easily to consecutive matches of 14 points. Rose formed an electric tandem with rookie Emmanuel Quickley as the backcourt and he really helped out with rookie Obie Tobin.
Now they’ll try to continue with another Thibodeau favorite, Taj Gibson, who was signed last month as insurance, taking Robinson’s slack. This insurance may or may not pay off.
The Post learned that the Knicks were considering adding 76 ex-Norvel Pelle (Poor Man Robinson) players to the front yard, but Thibodeau wanted Gibson. Billy is now with the Nets.
Gibson played 12 minutes in the fourth quarter on Friday as the Knicks stepped over the Wizards, who were playing without Bradley Bell. While Rose remained in his seat, he might have been counting other positions that might have been out there, with Nerlens Noel now the start of the Knicks. Noel had a solid bumper, but he also missed five matches due to a knee injury.
Thibodeau said he’s in no hurry to add a big guy. He hinted that the Knicks could “get small”, with the apparent possibility of Randall jumping into the middle and getting more minutes as Tobin continues to evolve.
In his rookie battle with Denny Avdija from Israel, Tobin was more efficient, with eight points to 4 to 5. Avdija also scored eight points, but was 1 to 5 on 3 shots despite showing a smooth stroke. The Nicks passed on Avdija, who appears to be the next Danilo Galinari, when they recruit Toppin.
With Toppin poised for the hike, Thibodeau was careful not to give the best scenario as the Knicks returned to New York to have Robinson assessed.
“I don’t want to speculate on any of it,” said Tibudo. “Once he’s back in New York, we’ll see our documents and we’ll know exactly what the timeframe looks like. It’ll be an estimate.”
The Knicks face the Rockets in the Park on Saturday the first day without Robinson, who has played in all 27 games. In 11 days, the park will get some fans back – nearly 2,000 fans per game starting February 23 against the Warriors.
Earlier in the day, Randall talked about swinging the park again.
Randall said, “Having fans back in the park – even for that amount – is cool.” “ We are so excited to have our fanbase to participate in the game and experience the energy we feel. ”
Rockets point keeper John Wall, with his new team and new health, will visit a fan-free park on Saturday. The Rockets have had a limited number of fans – and even that is weird on Wall.
On Thursday night, Wall said, “The whole season is weird.” It’s weird with COVID, testing is done daily, sometimes twice a day. Even the arenas with different fans. You see only a few. It looks like you are with a bad team that only has 2,000 fans and the rest are not there. “
Nicks has remained relatively free of any issues with the COVID-19 virus other than Frank Ntelikina, who was out of duty, leaving the team during this road trip due to contact tracing. Now they have suffered a stroke of luck, sidelining Robinson.
As Wall said, it’s a new world. Arriving at Union Station in Washington on Friday via Amtrak for the first road match of my season, I went out and hit hard again. The taxi line is usually no less than 20 minutes, but on Friday there was nobody outside of Union Station – just a stream of frustrated empty taxis waiting in a ghost town.
There were no fans allowed in Washington on Friday night and there is nothing to change that. After Saturday’s match against the Rockets, three more competitions remained in the park before the gates of the world’s most famous arena reopened.
In 11 days, the sound of the ticket rackets will be music to one’s ears, but the Knicks will have to fight without starting position.