On December 12, 2023, Mitchell Robinson, the starting center for the New York Knicks, suffered a left ankle injury in a game against the Boston Celtics. He is expected to miss 10 weeks of action after undergoing surgery to repair the injury. The Knicks will re-evaluate his condition in eight weeks to determine when he might be able to return to the lineup.
Robinson is considered a crucial part of the Knicks’ defense, which is one of the best in the NBA, allowing only 109.7 points per game. Known for his blue-collar work ethic, Robinson is a fan favorite at Madison Square Garden. Despite averaging only 6.2 points per game, he is an essential part of the team due to his skills as a rim protector and rebounder.
Losing Robinson to injury will be a significant setback for the Knicks. In his absence, Jericho Sims will step into the starting lineup, and Isiah Hartenstein is expected to see increased playing time off the bench.
Hartenstein, known for his offensive rebounding and outside shooting, showcased his skills in a recent game against the Toronto Raptors, scoring 11 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Sims, who started in place of Robinson, contributed two points and seven rebounds in his first game without Robinson.
If Sims struggles, the Knicks may look for help on the trade market, with potential targets including Kelly Olynyk, Wendell Carter Jr., Daniel Gafford, and Day’Ron Sharpe.
The injury to Robinson has also sparked rumors about potential trades for All-Stars such as Karl-Anthony Towns, DeMar DeRozan, and Joel Embiid. Despite the setback, the Knicks currently hold a 13-9 record and sit in third place in the Atlantic Division.
The team is -360 odds to make the playoffs and has a win total of 45.5 over/under for the season. With the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics are the favorites to win the Atlantic Division, while the Knicks have odds of +3500. Additionally, the Knicks have odds of +6000 to win the 2023-24 NBA Championship.
Although they have not won the Eastern Conference title since 1999, the Knicks managed to qualify for the knockout stage of the In-Season Tournament, demonstrating their potential to compete at a high level.