Knicks get encouraging news on Mitchell Robinson’s re-aggrevated ankle injury days before playoffs start

NBA: New York Knicks at Boston Celtics
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks don’t have to worry too much about Mitchell Robinson’s health with three days left before the 2024 NBA Playoffs start. The refined Knicks center tweaked his injured left ankle in their regular-season finale against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. He sat for the entire second half of their 120-119 overtime win over the Bulls, but that might be all the time he misses moving forward.

Knicks: Mitchell Robinson active in back-to-back practices after injury scare vs. Bulls

Robinson participated in Knicks practice for the second time since re-aggravating the injury, as Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News reported. Despite missing 50 games this year, the 26-year-old was the backbone of the Knicks’ defensive and glass-cleaning efforts when on the floor. He finished the year averaging 8.5 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 1.2 steals per contest.

His 4.6 offensive rebounds per game tied Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela for the league lead. It also garnered him much attention through the early portion of the season, as it improved his scoring around the rim and set a foundation for the team to finish No. 1 in the department on the year with 12.7 OREB per night.

NBA: New York Knicks at Charlotte Hornets
Nov 18, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) pulls down a rebound against the Charlotte Hornets during the first quarter at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Robinson’s excellent defense and rebounding will be huge for the Knicks in the first round against the 76ers

The news is especially encouraging considering the Knicks will face the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs. The 76ers are led by reigning league MVP Joel Embiid, who returned from a knee injury to play in five games before the regular season ended.

Embiid struggled from the field in the Sixers’ 105-104 Play-In Tournament victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, yet managed to finish with a 23-point, 15-rebound double-double. That speaks to how much Robinson and the rest of the Knicks’ centers will have to deal with over the course of their first-round series. Having Robinson healthy is the first and most important step toward quieting Philadelphia and advancing to the second round.

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