New York Knicks rookie center Mitchell Robinson tallied 14 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks Friday in the team's 102-83 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in 2018 NBA Summer League action at the Thomas & Mack Center in Paradise, Nevada.
Robinson took center stage in the Knicks' final game of the tournament with the organization opting to rest many of its top young players, including Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina and Allonzo Trier. Luke Kornet also missed the contest with a sprained ankle.
New York's second-round pick responded by making seven of his 13 shots and grabbing seven offensive boards in 19 minutes of action.
Robinson entered the contest averaging 12.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.8 blocks across his first four Summer League outings.
The 20-year-old former Chalmette High School (La.) standout skipped college after failing to receive an NCAA transfer waiver to leave Western Kentucky University following an indefinite suspension.
His time away seemingly didn't create much rust. He was one of the Knicks' most consistent players in Vegas and continued to play well Friday while the others were kept on the sideline.
"When you play with energy, things go well," Robinson told reporters after Thursday's loss to the Boston Celtics. "When you work hard, it's not that hard to do. You got to focus and play hard. That's it."
Robinson could end up earning a rotation role for the Knicks if he's able to carry over his Summer League success into training camp and the preseason.
Daniel Ochefu added 22 points and eight rebounds for the Knicks.
Tyrius Walker (16 points), Damyean Dotson (15) and Troy Williams (11) also reached double figures in scoring as part of New York's well-rounded offensive performance.
Garlon Green connected on eight of his nine attempts from the field to lead the way for the Pelicans with 23 points in the loss. Walter Lemon Jr. had eight points and seven assists.
All told, the success of Knox and Robinson in Vegas is already raising hopes about the Knicks' 2018 draft class. It'll likely be a rebuilding year with Kristaps Porzingis facing an uncertain return date after suffering a torn ACL last season, so there should be plenty of playing time available for developing prospects.
Between Porzingis, the growing group of young talent and the financial flexibility to make impact moves next summer, there's finally light at the end of the tunnel for Knicks fans.