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Possible rephrasing: Potential setback as Mitchell Robinson’s absence from practice before Game 4 may disrupt Knicks’ strategy against Joel Embiid

Potential Setback as Mitchell Robinson’s Absence May Disrupt Knicks’ Strategy Against Joel Embiid

In a potential setback for the New York Knicks, center Mitchell Robinson did not participate in practice on Saturday due to a re-injury of his surgically-repaired ankle. Although head coach Tom Thibodeau did not rule out Robinson from Sunday’s Game 4 against the Philadelphia 76ers, his absence could disrupt the team’s strategy against superstar center Joel Embiid.

Robinson, who missed 50 games in the regular season due to a fractured left ankle, left Thursday’s loss against the 76ers in a walking boot after apparently being hurt while guarding Embiid. The exact moment of the injury is unclear, but there were several questionable plays from Embiid, including dragging down Robinson from the ground, kicking him in the groin, and falling on his leg after a borderline flop.

If Robinson is unable to play, the Knicks will have to find a way to contain Embiid without their starting center. One option is to use a two-center rotation consisting of Isaiah Hartenstein and Precious Achiuwa. However, Achiuwa is undersized compared to Embiid, which could pose a challenge for the Knicks’ defense.

Thibodeau also mentioned Jericho Sims as a possibility to fill in for Robinson. Sims, who has played just two games since March 27, would need to step up and contribute if given the opportunity. Thibodeau expressed confidence in his team’s depth, stating that whenever one player goes out, another steps in and gets the job done. He emphasized the importance of a team effort and the need for everyone to contribute.

In Thursday’s loss, with Robinson ruled out for the second half of the game, Achiuwa played well in limited minutes but also found himself in foul trouble, picking up three quick fouls. This highlights the potential challenge the Knicks may face without Robinson’s presence on the court.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Robinson’s availability for Game 4, his teammates remain optimistic. Donte DiVincenzo expressed hope that Robinson would play but also highlighted the team’s “next man up” mentality. Throughout the season, the Knicks have overcome adversity and earned the second seed in the Eastern Conference even with Robinson missing a significant number of games. If Robinson is unable to play, the team believes they have capable replacements in Achiuwa and Sims who have been ready to step in all season long.

As the Knicks prepare for Game 4, they will have to adapt their strategy to compensate for Robinson’s potential absence. Whether it’s relying on a two-center rotation or giving opportunities to less experienced players like Achiuwa and Sims, the team will need to come together and find a way to contain Embiid. It remains to be seen whether Robinson will be able to recover in time, but regardless of the outcome, the Knicks are determined to continue their strong season and give their all on the court.

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