Knicks rookie Mitchell Robinson has recorded at least five fouls in a game in nine of the 44 games he's appeared in. He's fouled out five times.
Head coach David Fizdale has an idea to get the 20-year-old center to stay out of foul trouble: push-ups.
"Me and Coach got that little thing going on," Robinson, who has averaged 6.2 points and 4.8 rebounds, said at practice on Monday. "Like if I get in foul trouble, I got to do push-ups or whatever, and I don't really feel like doing push-ups. So I try to stay out of foul trouble the best that I can."
But Fizdale hasn't been the only one trying to get Robinson to improve his game. It's been a team-wide effort, he said.
"Our team challenges him all the time," Fizdale said. "They try to do stuff like the James Harden -- sweep the ball into the arms, all of that stuff -- over and over and over again just to get him to understand, 'If I keep my hands out, I got a chance to block everything.' And one thing about Mitchell is he's a fast learner, and he's really applying the stuff."
Though the Knicks, who entered Monday with the second-worst record in the NBA despite snapping their 18-game home losing streak Sunday night against the Spurs, have struggled immensely with a young roster, Fizdale has the support of his players.
"When you have a coach like that," said Dennis Smith Jr., whom the Knicks acquired in the Kristaps Porzingis trade before the deadline, "you should go out and put max effort every time you get the chance."