Obi Toppin has finally made his return to the court. Can he be the difference maker the Knicks have been waiting for?
After being sidelined for over a month with a fractured fibula, Obi Toppin made his 2023 debut against the Milwaukee Bucks this past Monday. Even though he played 8 minutes and scored 3 points, it was good to see him back on the floor and in the rotation. His energy on both ends of the floor is something that the team has been missing. Hopefully it will become a plus for the Knicks once he gets back into the swing of things.
With Monday’s 111-107 loss to the Bucks, the Knicks currently hold a 22-19 record. They are sitting at the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. If they want to make a strong push to the playoffs, Toppin’s production can be a huge boost to the teams momentum moving forward.
Towards the end of last season, Toppin showed how much of an impact he can have when he went on an absolute tear offensively. Also, before his injury, he had several games where he scored double digit points and continued to be a factor for the Knicks interior defense. Even though the Knicks held their own when he was gone, the Knicks have struggled to find consistency with their bench. C Jericho Sims did provide a little bit of a spark with his defense and rebounding while filling in for Toppin but we all know how much more Obi Toppin can provide when healthy.
With the way Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle have been playing recently, if Toppin can find that late season mojo from last season, the Knicks can really make some noise in the Eastern Conference. Now, due to the injury that he’s coming back from, it’s going to take some time for him to really make his mark. With a player like Obi Toppin who is reliant on his athleticism, a leg fracture is no joke and is the reason why he should be slowly worked back into his role.
Ultimately, Obi Toppin can truly be an X factor for this team if he can comeback and play to his potential. We will have to wait to see how he progresses in the near future but his elevation in production can be the difference for the Knicks success this season.