New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson might just have a shot at becoming the next NBA big man to surprisingly incorporate a three-point shot to his arsenal. If you ask new Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau, however, the veteran shot-caller believes that Robinson will first need to fix one key shortcoming he currently has: his free-throw shooting.
Thibodeau admitted that he remains open to the prospect of Robinson evolving into a stretch five, but the Knicks coach was quick to say that Robinson will need to focus on improving his efficiency from the charity stripe before anything else:
“We’ve seen throughout the league guys who historically have been inside players moved out to the perimeter,” Thibodeau said, via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. “Usually you start with a corner 3. If we can get to a point where he’s comfortable with his free throws and extend out beyond that, so be it. But that’s something that we do want him to work on, but we also want him to play to his strengths and cover up whatever weaknesses he may have.”
Last season, Robinson shot just 56.8 percent from the line on 2.4 attempts per game, so clearly, this is an area that he needs to improve on.
Robinson himself did not deny that he's been working on his three-point shot in the offseason, but he too understands that this development is not something that will happen overnight:
“I’m not just going to come out launching 3s. They’re not going to tell me to take it (if I do that),” Robinson said Monday. “This year, I’m more comfortable with the way I’ve been shooting lately, so why not? I’ve just been working on it so if the shot presents itself.”
For what it's worth, Mitchell Robinson has never attempted a trey in his two years in the NBA. Things could change in the coming season, though.