Mitchell Robinson on guarding Nikola Jokic: ‘Wasn’t hard at all’
New York Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson matched up with Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic in Sunday’s duel at Madison Garden. The stat sheet reveals that Jokic got his way against the Knicks center. But Mitchell himself felt he did a good job at guarding the Serbian.
Per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Mitchell said of Jokic after their 114-99 loss to the Nuggets on Sunday:
“I was there on every move he did. He just made tough shots. I felt like it wasn’t hard at all.”
Jokic got his usual stat line of 22 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. Five other Nuggets players scored in double figures including Garry Harris who had 14 points, Monte Morris and PJ Dozier who had 12 points apiece.
Mitchell Robinson said he had no problems guarding Jokic:
"I was there on every move he did. He just made tough shots. I felt like it wasn’t hard at all."
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) January 11, 2021
Robinson, for his part, had 11 points (5-of-5 from the field) and five rebounds. Julius Randle led the game with 29 points, to go along with 10 rebounds, and five assists. The Knicks were manhandled by the Nuggets as they were down by as much as 30 points.
While Robinson believes he did a splendid job defending Jokic, his coach highlighted how much of a threat Jokic is. Thibs also sensed that it was going to be a tough night the moment they allowed the Nuggets to mount a huge lead.
“I think Jokic puts a lot of pressure on you, so you can’t let your guard down for a second,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said, per the Associtated Press via ESPN. “And I thought we got in a hole early and when you give a team like that that type of confidence, it’s very difficult to come back on them.”