April Fool an Upcoming Superstar — April 1, 2019: Knicks 113 Chicago 105

April Fools to the teams that let birthday boy Mitchell Robinson slip to the second round! Robinson was born on April 1st so today was his 21st birthday. And the Knicks won — beating Chicago easily 113-105. Robinson had another impressive game. His line: 4-4 (6-8 frree throws) 14 pts, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks 4 assists. Phoenix also won, so even with the win, the Knicks maintained a 2.5 game lead w 5 left. A happy day all around.

The Game

Chicago laid down early, and the Knicks jumped out to a massive 48-24 lead. Damyean Dotson was hitting his 3’s (he was 6-7 from 3 for the night; he had been 3-26 from 3 his last several games). Robinson and Luke Kornet were playing a two-headed monster inside game — blocking shots and scoring — Robinson inside; Kornet outside with the 3’s. Kornet’s line: 8-11 (5-7 from 3) for 24 pts. At one point he lit the Garden up with a penetration in the lane for a SLAM.

Kornet is quietly cutting a good notch of a role with the Knicks for the future. He has been showing well with extended playing time. His footwork is slow but he gets to the right spot defensively, and he’s 7’1 and adept at blocking shots and not fouling.

Robinson continued to block 3-pt shots AND snare the blocked shot, igniting breaks. He is also hitting his free throws.

Kevin Knox, the other guy on the Knicks’ big front line, had a decent night: 6-15 for 19 pts, and 9 rebounds. He continued to hit that pretty, high-arcing, accurate 3 of his.

Despite all of that, the game had the feel of a Summer League game. MSG should have given everyone a free hot dog.

The Knicks were having fun. After all they were up the whole game and it was Mitchell Robinson‘s birthday.

The Rest of the Knicks

  • Emmanuel Mudiay had a Horrible game — coughing the ball up repeatedly. He finished 7-21 (2-7 from 3) for 17 points (5 reb, 4 assists) in 36 minutes.
  • Lance Thomas played 32 minutes (3-6 for 6 pts),
  • Kadeem Allen played 9 minutes and had 7 points, and
  • John Jenkins played 20 minutes, and had 8 points.

That was it — Knicks only played 8 players. It seems coach David Fizdale would rather play someone a good number of minutes, or not play him at all at this point in the season — to do a nice thing for the player’s statistics.  Henry Ellenson, Mario Hezonja, and DeAndre Jordan did not play. Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Noah Vonleh and Dennis Smith Jr continued to be injured.

The Bulls

The Bulls played 11 players. Robin Lopez had a beast game — 12-18 for 29 points. Chicago other starters were a team of reserves as Chicago goes for the tank: Shaquille Harrison, Walt Lemon Jr, Wayne Selden, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

Ewing’s April Fools Joke

Reporter Mike Wise (@MikeWiseguy) told this story on Twitter: “True story: Cavs cheerleader came up to me during ‘96 Knicks game. Said, “Are you Mike Wise from The NY Times? OMG, I read everything you write.” I went to talk to her after game and she blew me off. I walked into locker room. Patrick Ewing looked up and smiled: “April Fools.””

Birthday Boy

After the game, there was this:


After this game, the Knicks finish the season against:

  • @ Orlando — in playoff race
  • @ Houston — in playoff race
  • vs Washington — looking to lose
  • @ Chicago — looking to lose
  • vs Detroit — in playoff race

The Boxscore:


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