While the status of power forward Julius Randle (sprained ankle) is up in the air for the start of the next series vs. the Heat, the Knicks can feel good about the rise of his replacement.
That would be none other than Obi Toppin, who finished strong against the Cavaliers.
“Obi has played really well the last month, he’s played really well for us,” coach Tom Thibodeau said, via Peter Botte of the New York Post. “And he’s always ready, going in and he just hit big shots, made hustle plays, runs the floor. It gets us energized. And so, we needed that.”
Toppin had a big third quarter against the Cavs in Game 5, filling in for Randle and keeping the opponent at bay. One of his key plays was a windmill dunk off a feed from wig Josh Hart during a fast break.
“I feel like my approach is the same every time I enter the game. I feel like I know what I got to do,” Toppin said. “Be aggressive, bring a lot of energy and have fun and definitely play defense. I feel like we all did that today.”
- Overall, the Knicks’ effort likely “resonates” with the team’s fans, Thibodeau said. “I think the way this team plays, it resonates with all our fans. They play hard, they play smart and they play together. And I think if you do that in New York, it’s always recognized.”
- Randle’s left ankle sprain isn’t viewed as severe as the one that kept him out at the end of the regular season, per Ian Begley of SNY.tv. We have that full story here.
- Knicks center Jericho Sims underwent surgery on his injured right shoulder and is expected to miss five months, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Sims is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.
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