LeBron James commends the Knicks’ work on the glass.

LeBron James commends the Knicks' work on the glass.

Lakers’ LeBron James commends Knicks’ Work On The Glass

There may not be a team in the NBA that opponents want to see on their schedule less than the New York Knicks. They have a physical style of play that wears down opponents as the game goes along, emphasizing defense and rebounding.

However, in recent games, that game plan has had to be adjusted. Without starting center Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks have seen their dominance on defense and in the paint wane.

They have been struggling to slow down their opponents, who are scoring at will without the team’s defensive anchor in the lineup.

Things got even more dire on Monday night against the Los Angeles Lakers. Jericho Sims, who had been in the starting lineup in place of Robinson, rolled his ankle on the opening tip when he landed on Anthony Davis.

That left Tom Thibodeau extremely short-handed in the frontcourt, where he relied on Isaiah Hartenstein for heavy minutes.

Hartenstein responded in a big way, as he played a career-high 39 minutes and grabbed a career-best 17 rebounds. He did his best Robinson impersonation, with seven of them coming on the offensive glass.

As a team, the Knicks hit the glass hard.

Julius Randle had 14 rebounds himself while Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett and Josh Hart all had at least four as well. Their work on the glass is something that drew the praise of Lakers superstar, LeBron James.

They’re really good, we knew coming into the game that they’re a very good offensive rebounding team; they thrive on playing in the paint.

We had opportunities to get some hits on guys, we just weren’t able to clean glass all the time,” James said after his Lakers lost 114-109 to the Knicks.

Despite recording his 109th career triple-double, James was unable to lead his team to a victory. The Knicks won the rebounding battle 52-41, recording 11 offensive rebounds to help keep possessions alive.

That kind of performance is one that we have become accustomed to seeing from New York but has been absent for the last few games.

Anthony Davis also had a huge game, scoring 32 points with 14 rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks. Austin Reaves poured in 20 off the bench, but it was not enough to defeat the Knicks, who received solid contributions from up and down their roster.

 New York will end their five-game road trip with a game at Barclays Center against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. There is no rest for the weary in the NBA, as after that, they host the Milwaukee Bucks for two games before heading back on the road for a three-game trip.

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