Mitchell Robinson's return looms large for surging Knicks

Initially believed to be done for the season, the Knicks' Robinson will resume on-court activities following the All Star break.
Charlotte Hornets v New York Knicks
Charlotte Hornets v New York Knicks / Elsa/GettyImages

The New York Knicks received some positive injury news ahead of their game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Head coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters that center Mitchell Robinson would resume on-court activities following the upcoming All-Star Break.

The Knicks, who recently had their 9 game winning streak snapped have seen the injuries pile up in recent weeks so the positive update on Robinson is a welcome one. When Robinson initially went down with an ankle injury on December 8th, it was believed that he may be sidelined for the rest of the season.

Mitchell can help a surging Knicks team reach new heights.

When Robinson returns, the Knicks will be inserting another defensive anchor into their lineup as well as the best offensive rebounder in the sport. Robinson is averaging 5.3 rebounds per game, easily the best in the NBA. Robinson also has an extremely strong defensive rating of 108.2.

After Robinson's injury, the Knicks' defense took a big step back, leading to them ultimately trading for OG Anunoby. Since trading for OG, the Knicks have been the best defense in the sport, and fans have been eager to see Robinson join what has become an incredible defensive unit under coach Thibedaou.

Thankfully for the Knicks, there were some positives that came amidst Robinson's absence. Over the past two months, Robinson's backup, Isaiah Hartenstein has emerged as a very capable starting center. In 28 games since Robinson went down, Hartenstein has averaged 8.0 ppg, while making up for Robinson’s absence on the glass with an impressive 11.4 rpg. 

The Knicks have been able to put together a very strong 19-9 run since Robinson’s injury. Adding him to what has become one of the best teams in the East will certainly allow Knicks fans to dream big about a deep playoff run this Spring. One thing to be sure of is that between Robinson and Hartenstein, the Knicks will be enjoying 48 minutes of elite play from the center position on a nightly basis.