LAS VEGAS — Kyrie Irving didn’t see the summer best of Kevin Knox on Thursday at Thomas & Mack Center, but at least rookie center Mitchell Robinson looked like a shot-blocking machine.
While Knox finally struggled, Robinson, the Knicks’ second-round pick, came up huge in another active, shot-blocking outing with 17 points, including a buzzer-beater, 12 rebounds and six blocks.
Presumably watching his Celtics, Irving saw teammate forward Semi Ojeleye give Knox a rough time at UNLV as Boston posted an 82-75 summer-league victory. Ojeleye, who guarded LeBron James plenty this season, is considered one of the up-and-coming young defenders.
Knox looked stiff, perhaps with tired legs in his 35 minutes. His jumper was wobbly, and he rarely got to the basket as he finished with 15 points on 5-of-20 shooting, committing four turnovers, including a charge against Ojeleye, who finished with 21 points. Knox was just 3-of-4 from the free-throw line and collected three rebounds and three assists in a quiet outing after taking Vegas by storm. Knox, the ninth-overall pick in the draft, came into the game averaging 23.3 points, numbers that had scouts drooling over his potential as an 18-year-old.
Mitchell made up for it with his active play. He also limited his fouls to one after totaling 18 in the first three games. “He’s got elite quickness off his feet, but the question is: Does it get negated when he’s going against 260-pound guys?” one NBA scout said.
Mitchell hadn’t played a 5-on-5 game in 14 months after dropping out of Western Kentucky to train for the NBA.
Frank Ntilikina sat out his second straight game with a groin injury, giving Allonzo Trier his second start at point guard. Trier scored 17 points with three assists, making 5-of-8 buckets.
Luke Kornet, who signed a one-year, $1.6 million deal to be on the 15-man roster, also made his 2018 summer league debut. Kornet added seven points, starting alongside Robinson.
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