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Mitchell Robinson aims for Defensive Player of the Year ahead of Knicks’ matchup against Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Mitchell Robinson has a big aspiration for this 2022-23 season to cement his place as one of the current most terrifying rim presence in the league.

Before the New York Knicks’ Friday matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks, Robinson poses his target of winning this year’s Defensive Player of the Year.

“I’m trying to get it,” Robinson said about aiming to win the said honors. “And I’m going to continue to fight to get it.”

It’s no coincidence that he announced his goal ahead of his collision against Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. As such, he’s ready to take the challenging defensive assignment of guarding him.

“Yeah, it is more motivating. I can make my mark,” Robinson about his upcoming face-off against the future hall of famer. “It’s like, ‘Hey, bro. This is what it is. This is what I’m supposed to do.’”

Facing the Greek Freak would be too daunting, as he is currently leading the Bucks to an unblemished 0-3 record so far this season. Without co-star Khris Middleton who is currently recovering from a hand surgery, Giannis is on a mandatory tear while averaging 36.0 points in 67.7 percent shooting to go with 13.0 boards and 5.3 assists in 34 minutes of play.

Robinson’s part of defensive plan includes stuffing the gaps and exerting his full efforts to make it hard for Antetokounmpo to capitalize his long, powerful strides.

“He’s running and dunking and driving in the gaps,” Robinson about Antetokounmpo. “That’s really it. You got to fill gaps, man. He’s got long legs, long arms. You got to make sure he can’t get nowhere.”

The big man is currently averaging 8.8 points in a jaw-dropping 88.2 percent shooting, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks across four game for the Knicks this season. His defensive reputation will truly be put on a test as he face Antetokounmpo tomorrow.

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