Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson posts double-double in return versus Wizards.

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks
Jan 2, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) dunks in the first quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson made his long-awaited return Friday against the Washington Wizards, and he seemed to leave no trace of his finger injury that had him sidelined for a month.

Robinson posted a double-double in the Knicks’ 115-109 victory over the Wizards with 10 points, 12 rebounds (four offensive), one block, one steal, and a game-high +13 in approximately 28 minutes of action.

His services helped the Knicks rally back from down 19 early to capture their fourth straight victory and seventh in their last nine games, and the team is currently in fantastic shape to head back to the playoffs for the first time in two years.

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The Knicks are a scary team at full strength:

Robinson’s return puts the Knicks back to full strength for the first time in quite a while, and the addition of Josh Hart at the trade deadline has made this team its best possible version of themselves on both ends, as the Knicks now have this rejuvenated squad full of energy and tenacity all-around.

While Jericho Sims and Isaiah Hartenstein held down the fort in Mitch’s absence very well, Robinson brought back his highly impactful offensive rebounding prowess, which saved the Knicks out of a few bad possessions early Friday night.

Robinson’s four offensive boards were more than the entire Wizards team Friday (three offensive rebounds), and his overall activity in the paint provided a huge spark for New York.

Defensively, Robinson was also a great force, especially in the second half, as the Wizards scored just 45 points in the third and fourth quarters combined.

The Knicks badly missed his elite defensive abilities, so this part of his game was a welcome return.

Robinson was asked postgame how he felt defensively in his first game action in over a month, and he said confidently that he thought he did “everything” correct Friday night on that side of the ball.

“My defense like that. My defense really like that,” Robinson said Friday. “I feel like I did a good job tonight. We won.”

Friday was an all-around good night for the Knicks. Along with the return of Robinson and the victory, the Nets and Heat both suffered blowout losses in their respective games, so New York now sits a game-and-a-half ahead of the Heat for sole possession of the Eastern Conference’s sixth seed and are just one behind of the Nets for the fifth seed.

Robinson and the Knicks will look to continue their strong play when they head back home for the second half of a back-to-back to play the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday night.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @DylanBacker_