Mitchell Robinson was having a massive first half Friday night before fracturing his right hand late in the second quarter of the Knicks’ 109-91 win in Washington.
The team’s starting center will be reevaluated Saturday back in New York, but it appears as if he will miss some time.
“It was probably the best half of the year for him. We know how important he is to the team,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Any time someone gets hurt, you certainly feel for him. He’s got a fracture, so we don’t how long he’ll be out. He’ll be examined further [Saturday] and then we’ll have more information.”
Robinson had notched 10 points and 14 rebounds — the first double-double in a first half of his career — before he appeared to injure his hand colliding with teammate Julius Randle while attempting to block a shot by Washington’s Rui Hachimura late in the second quarter.
“I guess his hand collided with my elbow. So that’s a tough break for him,” Randle said. “It’s very tough. It definitely will be tough without him. I don’t know how long he’ll be out, but he brings so much to the game, especially on the defensive end and with his rebounding. … But it’s next man up and we just want to keep moving.”
The third-year center has started each of the Knicks’ first 27 games, averaging 8.4 points and 8.4 boards.
Veteran big men Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson likely will see increased playing time in Robinson’s absence, unless team president Leon Rose looks to add reinforcements from outside the organization.
“That’s the job of Leon and Wes [VP William Wesley],” Thibodeau said. “We’re always looking at the opportunities that may be out there. But I like the guys we have. If there’s something that can make the team better we’d always consider it. But I think we have more than enough in that locker room.”
Kevin Knox saw his first action in seven games, playing the final 3:48. … Frank Ntilikina was unavailable for a second straight game because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols, although Thibodeau said the guard is “still testing negative” for COVID-19.