The New York Knicks demonstrated the depth and balance they believe can sustain them in the absence of their key player. Following the news of Mitchell Robinson’s injury, the Knicks rallied to secure a 136-130 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night.
Julius Randle led the charge with a formidable 34 points, while Quentin Grimes, stepping up his game, contributed a season-high 19 points. RJ Barrett and Jalen Brunson also played pivotal roles in the win, scoring 27 and 21 points, respectively.
The team had to readjust their strategy after Robinson, the NBA leader in offensive rebounds, sustained a stress fracture in his left ankle, necessitating surgery and a recovery period of at least eight weeks.
“He covers up for a lot of our mistakes, but we’ll figure it out,” Randle said, reflecting the team's resilience.
Strategic Shifts and Key Contributions
The Knicks broke the game open in the fourth quarter, thanks in large part to their bench players. Grimes, who has been searching for consistency this season and recently lost his starting spot, shone brightly with key plays, including a pivotal 3-pointer.
Josh Hart also made significant contributions during a crucial 7-0 run that transformed a tied game into a seven-point lead for the Knicks. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau praised his bench unit, especially given the absence of reserve guard Immanuel Quickley due to knee soreness.
“You need everybody,” Thibodeau said, emphasizing the importance of collective effort and synergy in the team's success.Hart finished the game with 16 points, a valuable addition for the Knicks, who had suffered losses to Milwaukee and Boston the previous week.
The victory was a collective effort, with both starters and bench players stepping up to fill the void left by Robinson's injury. On the Raptors’ side, OG Anunoby scored a season-high 29 points, but it wasn't enough to stop the Knicks' determined offense.
The Raptors, experiencing their fourth consecutive loss, saw Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, and Dennis Schroder each adding 20 points.